South Carolina has only one type of long-term confinement facility for felons who have been sentenced by the court to prison time. There are twenty-one state prisons in South Carolina. Each one has a different level of custody and is designed for the demographic they supervise. The state uses the following four categories for custody:
These facilities are the low-security community-based, pre-release/work centers. Only non-violent offenders are allowed here. They must be within 36 months of their release date to take part in the work-release programs and reentry assistance. “Housing is mainly double bunk, open-bay wards with unfenced perimeters.”
Level 1B facilitates are minimum-security buildings which hold inmates who have very little time left to serve. These institutions are higher-level security than 1-A but less than Level 2. “Housing is mainly double bunk cubicles with unfenced perimeters.”
The Level 2 facilities are designed to be medium security for high-risk inmates. There are single-fenced perimeters and electronic surveillance all around. “Housing is primarily double bunk, cell type with some institutions having double-bunk cubicles.” These penitentiaries are higher security than Level 1s.
These are the highest-security level facilities for violent offenders and those serving life or long sentences. Any inmate with behavioral problems will end up in Level 3 housing. These types of buildings are secured with electronic surveillance and double-fenced perimeters. Inmates are highly restricted and monitored closely by guards. “Housing consists of single and double cells.”
The South Carolina Department of Corrections is the government entity in charge of all facilities, inmates, and South Carolina state prison inmate records. They make it easy for the public to conduct a South Carolina state prison inmate search using the offender locator tool on their website. Along with supervision, all state prisons offer inmates education, vocational programs, substance abuse treatment, healthcare services, and other rehabilitative options.
The prison population of South Carolina is just under 19,000 people. Of that total, almost 93% are male and the rest female. Fifty-nine percent of the inmates are Black, 38% are White, and the rest other races. Two percent are illegal aliens. Thirty-two percent are married citizens. More inmates come from Greenville County than any other. The top offenses for inmates in South Carolina prisons are homicide (22%), drug charges (16%), burglary (12%), robbery (12%), and sexual assault (9%).