Update: Attorney: Four inmate deaths show need for better mental care

Courtesy: SC Department of Corrections

UPDATE:

Columbia (AP) – An attorney for the family of one of four convicts strangled in a prison cell says the killings cast a “bright light on just how bad it is to be a mentally ill inmate” in South Carolina.

Carter Elliott told The Associated Press the killings represent a “tremendous step back” after the state’s prison agency agreed last year to improve treatment of mentally ill inmates. That settlement required reforms over several years.

Elliott is representing the family of Jimmy Ham, who was projected for release in November after serving time for a violent assault conviction.

According to arrest warrants, two convicted murderers separately lured Ham and three others into a Kirkland Correctional cell last Friday and strangled them. All six were housed in the same dorm.
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Columbia (AP) – Authorities say four inmates have been found dead at a South Carolina prison.

Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling tells The Associated Press the inmates were found Friday morning in a dorm at Kirkland Correctional Institution in the capital of Columbia. Stirling did not say how they died or release any further information.

The State Law Enforcement Division and Corrections police are investigating.

Coroner Gary Watts confirms he’s investigating four deaths at the facility, but wouldn’t give any details about how the inmates died.

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