Interesting Facts and Events

Year
Facts/Events
1867
The first inmates entered the State Penitentiary, which was designed to hold 400 convicts.
1872
Prison school established by law.
1877
Introduction of farming at the State Penitentiary.
1878
Prison school act repealed.
1893
Segregation of young boys from older inmates at the State Penitentiary.
1905
Hospital was constructed.
1912
The electric chair was installed at the Penitentiary in 1912 and the first executions were carried out.
1917
A chair factory was established as the first prison industry.
1922
First prison board of directors appointed by the Governor.
1922
A riot occurred at the State Penitentiary.
1932
A fire destroyed 1/3 of the prison facilities at the Penitentiary.
1937
Six inmates trying to escape killed Captain of the Guard J. Olin Sanders.
1945
Per diem pay system initiated for inmates.
1950
Total inmate counts averaged 1,450.
1960
The State Penitentiary was made a state agency and renamed the South Carolina Department of Corrections. A State Board of Corrections was established with a member representing each judicial circuit.
1960
Total inmate counts averaged 2,073, an increase of 43% in 10 years.
1962
A moratorium on execution was imposed nationally, including South Carolina.
1962
Plastic money was introduced and U.S. currency was taken away from inmates.
1963
"Guards" were changed to "correctional officers."
1968
300 inmates riot about food and conditions in Central Correctional Institution.
1970
Total inmate counts averaged 2,705, an increase of 30% in 10 years.
1971
Based on state funds, it costs $1,689 to incarcerate an inmate per year.
1972
United States Supreme Court, in the case of Furman vs. Georgia, declared most death penalty statutes, including South Carolina's, to be unconstitutional.
1972
SCDC established positions of inmate representatives to improve communications between inmates and prison management.
1976
Formal inmate grievance procedures were introduced.
1977
William D. Leeke, Agency Commissioner was elected President of the American Correctional Association.
1979
The Sesame Street Childcare Center Program at Kirkland Correctional Institution (KCI) was selected as "The Most Outstanding Project of the Year" at the United States national Jaycee Convention
1980
The KCI Sesame Street Childcare Center Program was selected as the United States' sole representative in the International Jaycee competition in Sweden. From 86 projects around the world, the KCI program selected as the single most outstanding humanitarian project in the world.
1980
Total jurisdictional inmate counts averaged 7,869, an increase of 191% in 10 years.
1980
SCDC's year-end budget deficit totaled $525,000.
1980
Based on state funds, it costs $4,995 to incarcerate an inmate per year; almost 3 times the cost in 1971.
1981
A serious incident at Central Correctional institution - inmate rally and refusal to work- was effectively controlled so that system-wide riots/disturbance did not occur.
1981
Commissioner Leeke received American Correctional Association's E. R. Cass Award
1982
A serious incident occurred at Perry Correctional Institution where some property damaged occurred.
1982
Plastic money was no longer used; substituted by cash.
1982
Nelson vs. Leeke, a lawsuit involving prison overcrowding filed.
1984
SCDC's education program received its first state funding as an independent school district - Palmetto District One.
1985
Consent decree for Nelson V. Leeke was signed, the General Assembly authorized funding for the construction of 5 new prisons, a replacement facility for the Central Correctional Institution (formerly the State Penitentiary), and other smaller lower security units.
1985
The death penalty was reinstated in South Carolina.
1985
For the first time, the fiscal year-end jurisdiction count reached over 10,000 inmates - 10,350 on June 30, 1985.
1986
William D. Leeke received the Southern State Correctional Association's first David H. Williams Excellence of Service Award.
1986
A disturbance occurred at Kirkland Correctional Institution in April and was shortly controlled.
1988
SCDC employees exceeded 5,000 for the first time on the May 16th payroll.
1989
The capital punishment facility was relocated from Central Correctional Institution to Broad River Correctional Institution.
1990
Based on state funds, it costs $12,414 to incarcerate an inmate per year - 2.5 times the cost in 1980.
1990
Total jurisdictional inmate counts averaged 16,149, an increase of 105% in 10 years.
1990
Corrections museum opened in old Death House.
1990
Broad River Correctional Institution held its first execution.
1993
SCDC initiated a cashless system - debit inmate accounts - for canteen purchases.
1994
The Central Correctional Institution (CCI), the original State Penitentiary, closed after 127 years of operations.
1994
Director Parker Evatt received the American Correctional Association's highest honor - the E. R. Cass Award.
1995
The Prison Litigation Reform Act was passed, allowing correctional agencies to ask the Federal Court for relief from previously entered consent decrees under certain circumstances.
1995
April 17, 1995, a disturbance occurred at Broad River Correctional Institution - 5 officers were injured and 3 non-security personnel were taken hostage. After 11 hours of negotiation, the hostages were released unharmed.
1995
The General Assembly amended South Carolina Code of Law to allow lethal injection as a form of execution. Those inmates sentenced to death before 1995 were given an option of electrocution or lethal injection. In August 1995, the first inmate to die by lethal injection was executed.
1995
A cashless system was introduced - inmates were issued identification cards to debit their accounts for canteen purchases.
1995
In November, SCDC began recruiting and hiring 18-20 year old men and women for positions as correctional officer cadets.
1996
SCDC became the first state correctional agency to utilize provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act to terminate its consent decree under Plyler vs. Evatt. This termination allowed SCDC to modify and restructure facility operations without oversight by the federal court.
1996
Touchtone Pictures shot some scenes of its movie, "The Last Dance," at SCDC's Ridgeland Correctional Institution.
1996
For the first time, the fiscal year-end jurisdiction count reached over 20,000 inmates - 20,862 on June 30, 1996.
1996
SCDC became the first state correctional agency to be relieved from the requirements of a federal consent decree pursuant to the newly enacted Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
1997
Death Row was moved from Broad River Correctional Institution to Lieber Correctional Institution.
1997
Video conferencing technologies were applied to parole hearings to reduce transportation of inmates, to enhance public safety, and facilitate citizen's attendance at administrative offices of the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.
2000
Total jurisdictional inmate counts averaged 22,053, an increase of 37% in 10 years.
2000
Based on state funds, it costs $15,142 to incarcerate an inmate per year - 22% higher than the cost in 1990.
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