7 inmates dead in 7-hour prison fight

Emergency services from neighboring South Carolina counties responded to the incident

No officers were injured, said Jeffrey Taillon, communications director for the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

State Rep. James Smith of Richland - one of three Democrats running for governor in the June primary - said SC is at a "crisis point" and called on his colleagues in the Legislature to take action.

Sen. Karl Allen spoke on Monday about the incident and said rather than cell phones, the issues seem to stem from low morale among prison employees and inmates.

The state Department of Corrections also identified the inmates as Raymond Angelo Scott, Michael Milledge, Damonte Marquez Rivera, Eddie Casey Jay Gaskins, Joshua Svwin Jenkins, Corey Scott, and Cornelius Quantral McClary. Democrats hope the investigation prompts action to make S.C. prisons safer.

Seven inmates were killed and 17 others were injured in an incident at Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, South Carolina, authorities said.

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"These events are far too common", Smith said Tuesday.

The agency said the cameras could help in preventing inmate escapes and "other criminal or unauthorized activity within an institution".

Even with recent pay increases, the starting salary for a correctional officer at a maximum security prison such as Lee is $34,596, according to data provided by the state Department of Corrections.

"These folks are fighting over real money and real territory when they are incarcerated", Stirling said.

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