Riot Breaks Out In S.C. Prison Over Cell Phone; 2 Correctional Officers Hurt

Two officers were injured in a riot that began when one inmate had a cell phone confiscated at the Trenton Correctional Institution in South Carolina. (Photo/WCSC-TV)

A riot at a South Carolina prison was quelled by SWAT teams early Thursday, June 15, but not before two correctional officers were injured, reported WRDW-TV in nearby Augusta, Ga.

The two and four other officers were rescued from inside a dorm at the Trenton Correctional Institute in Trenton, S.C., near the South Carolina-Georgia border, after what was described as a riot began just before midnight Wednesday, South Carolina Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Sterling told the station.

An officer reportedly noticed an inmate with a cell phone. When officers attempted to confiscate the banned device from the inmate, he resisted. Other inmates came to his aid and fought back. The six officers sought safety by barricading themselves inside one of three dorms at the prison, according to Sterling.

Inmates then began destroying other dorms and setting fires in the prison yard, Augusta’s WJBF-TV reported.

Edgefield County and Aiken County SWAT teams were called and were able to successfully remove the six officers, WRDW reported. At least one medical helicopter and several ambulances reportedly responded to the scene.

WJBF reported that the injuries to the two officers were non-life-threatening. The identities of those involved have not been publicly disclosed.

No inmates were injured during the incident, according to news reports.

The illegal use of cell phones in prisons has been a major security concern across the nation. The Federal Communications Commission has been working to find ways to use technology to address the problem.

In 2015, two Georgia correctional officers resigned after the release of a disturbing cell phone photo of a beaten teenager with a leash around his neck was posted on Facebook.

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