Top 10 Worst Prisons in South Carolina
Top 10 Worst Prisons in South Carolina

Top 10 Worst Prisons in South Carolina


South Carolina, a southeastern U.S. state known for its picturesque landscapes and rich history, is also home to several correctional facilities. While these institutions play a crucial role in maintaining law and order, some prisons have gained notoriety for their harsh conditions and high rates of violence. In this article, we will delve into the top 10 worst prisons in South Carolina, exploring the reasons behind their reputation and the challenges they face. Let’s take a closer look at these facilities and the issues surrounding them.

Broad River Correctional Institution

The Broad River Correctional Institution, located in Columbia, is one of the largest prisons in South Carolina. It houses a significant number of inmates, which contributes to the challenges faced by the facility. The prison has been subject to criticism for its outdated infrastructure and overcrowding, leading to heightened tensions among prisoners and an increased risk of violence.

Kirkland Correctional Institution

Kirkland Correctional Institution, situated in Columbia, is another facility known for its unfavorable conditions. Over the years, the prison has faced issues such as inadequate staffing and limited resources, resulting in a lack of proper supervision and rehabilitation programs. These factors contribute to an environment prone to violence and unrest.

Lee Correctional Institution

Lee Correctional Institution, located in Bishopville, has gained infamy for its history of violence and gang-related activities. The facility struggles with staff shortages, which impede efforts to maintain order and ensure the safety of both inmates and correctional officers. The combination of overcrowding and limited resources exacerbates the challenges faced by this institution.

McCormick Correctional Institution

McCormick Correctional Institution, nestled in McCormick County, has faced significant scrutiny due to its inadequate medical care for inmates. Reports have highlighted instances of delayed or substandard healthcare, which can have severe consequences for prisoners’ well-being. These issues raise concerns about the facility’s commitment to fulfilling its duty of providing proper care and treatment to those in its custody.

Allendale Correctional Institution

Allendale Correctional Institution, located in Fairfax, is a facility that has grappled with security issues. It has struggled to address the prevalence of contraband and maintain a safe environment for inmates and staff. The presence of illicit items within the prison poses risks to everyone involved and hampers efforts to rehabilitate individuals incarcerated there.

Turbeville Correctional Institution

Turbeville Correctional Institution, situated in Turbeville, has faced ongoing challenges related to staffing and safety. The facility has been criticized for its limited correctional officer presence, leading to a lack of control over inmate activities and an increased potential for violence. These issues highlight the need for improved staffing levels and stricter security protocols.

Tyger River Correctional Institution

Tyger River Correctional Institution, located in Enoree, has garnered attention due to its high rate of inmate-on-inmate assaults. The facility struggles with overcrowding, which exacerbates tensions among prisoners and increases the likelihood of violent incidents. Addressing the root causes of these conflicts and implementing effective conflict resolution strategies is crucial for improving the safety and well-being of inmates.

Evans Correctional Institution

Evans Correctional Institution, situated in Bennettsville, has faced significant challenges regarding the availability and quality of educational and vocational programs. Providing inmates with opportunities for personal growth and skill development is essential for successful reintegration into society upon release. The lack of adequate resources in this regard can hinder the rehabilitation and reformation of incarcerated individuals.

Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution

Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution, located in Columbia, has come under scrutiny for its limited mental health resources. Inadequate staffing and a lack of specialized programs contribute to an environment where prisoners with mental health conditions may not receive the necessary care and support. Addressing these shortcomings is vital for ensuring the well-being and rehabilitation of all individuals in the prison’s custody.

Wateree River Correctional Institution

Wateree River Correctional Institution, nestled in Rembert, faces challenges similar to other institutions on this list. The facility struggles with overcrowding, limited resources, and understaffing, which combine to create a volatile environment. These issues have a direct impact on the safety and well-being of inmates and correctional officers.


1. Are the conditions in these prisons unconstitutional?

While the conditions in some of these prisons have raised concerns, determining their constitutionality falls under the purview of the legal system. Various organizations and advocacy groups closely monitor the situation and may pursue legal action if they believe constitutional rights are being violated.

2. What steps are being taken to address the issues in these prisons?

Efforts are underway to improve the conditions and address the challenges faced by these prisons. These measures include increased funding for staffing, infrastructure improvements, and the implementation of comprehensive rehabilitation programs.

3. How does overcrowding contribute to the problems in these facilities?

Overcrowding strains resources, limits access to necessary services, and increases tensions among inmates. It also hampers the ability of correctional staff to maintain order and provide adequate supervision.

4. Are there any success stories of prison reform in South Carolina?

While challenges persist, there have been instances of successful prison reform initiatives in South Carolina. These include efforts to improve mental health services, expand educational programs, and implement evidence-based rehabilitation strategies.

5. What can be done to improve the safety of correctional officers?

Enhancing safety for correctional officers involves various measures, such as improved staffing levels, enhanced training programs, the use of advanced security technologies, and a focus on de-escalation techniques to reduce violent incidents.

6. How can society support the reintegration of released prisoners?

Supporting the reintegration of released prisoners is crucial for reducing recidivism rates. Society can play a role by providing employment opportunities, access to housing, and community support programs that help individuals rebuild their lives after incarceration.


The top 10 worst prisons in South Carolina face numerous challenges, including overcrowding, understaffing, inadequate resources, and a lack of rehabilitation programs. These issues contribute to an environment that compromises the safety, well-being, and rehabilitation of inmates. Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses reforms in staffing, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and mental health services. By striving for meaningful change, South Carolina can work towards ensuring that its correctional facilities fulfill their role in promoting rehabilitation and reducing recidivism.

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