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Old 10-24-2010, 07:44 PM
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Default New - SCDC Response to Legislative Audit Council Final Report

http://www.doc.sc.gov/news/news.jsp
Overview of SCDC Response1
Over the past five years, SCDC has been the most reviewed agency in state government. In addition to this LAC
review, all or portions of the original false allegations leaked against this agency have been investigated or
reviewed by SLED, the 3rd Circuit Solicitor’s office, Clemson University, the Department of Health and Human
Services, the Budget and Control Board, the Comptroller General’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s
National Institute of Corrections.
We are gratified that eight reviews and this final report reached the same conclusion about the original
allegations: many did not even warrant a consideration and the remainder were false.
Moreover, we are encouraged that two years of intense scrutiny of this large and complex agency found that this
administration has improved public safety despite draconian budget cuts and rising inmate counts. And, we are
pleased that multiple professional reviews and years of politically motivated scrutiny have revealed no fraud, no
financial problems, and no mismanagement.
This remarkable outcome is especially gratifying since the allegations and review of this agency were largely
directed and driven by a single senator who concealed his strong personal, political, and financial interests and
bias against this agency: in other words, every possible stone has been turned.
Summary of SCDC responses to LAC/NIC Recommendations
There are 19 recommendations in this report. The agency is already in compliance with all or part of
recommendations 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 17. We intend to comply with recommendations 6, 14, 15, and 17.
The litigious legal climate of our state and constitutional concerns will likely preclude compliance with all or part
of recommendations 3, 4, 5, and 7. Recommendation 8, selling the director’s house, simply echoes a politically
motivated attempt to treat this house differently than other state provided housing - that is really a legislative
issue. Recommendation 16 may be precluded by limited resources and staff. And, recommendations 18 and 19,
regarding on-going culture surveys, would be worthless unless done by fair-minded professionals on a recurring
basis, as we noted early in this process and as the National Institute of Corrections confirmed. This is also a
legislative issue, as both would require adequate and recurring funding.
1
We apologize for the length of this response. However, that length is necessitated by two primary factors: (1) a final LAC report that is
over 70 pages in length and somewhat repetitive (including both a summary and a synopsis, in addition to the final report); and, (2) our
duty to address the political tainting of and interference in the LAC process by a single senator, who might well have broken the law by
his actions.
Historical Review
Some review of the tortured and politicized process behind this audit is appropriate, since we are now over two
years removed from those beginnings.
In August 2007, thirty false allegations aimed at this agency and many of our employees, were ‘leaked’ from our
state senate. Most of the false allegations for that “Initial Staff Report” were marshaled by Senator Phil Leventis;
a vocal opponent of this administration with clear personal, political, and financial relationships and interests in
former agency employees terminated for racial discrimination and other misconduct. The allegations were made
anonymously and without any corroboration, but they were placed into the ‘report,’ replete with sensational
language such as ‘withholding food,’ ‘staff sex with inmates,’ ‘falsification of records,’ ‘abuse of inmates,’
‘favoritism,’ ‘misuse of state property,’ and ‘senior management and obscenity.’ There was even an allegation
that law enforcement officers from SCDC and SLED knowingly allowed a hostage to be raped for political
purposes.
This audit was born of that failed witch hunt. After SLED found insufficient evidence to even warrant opening an
investigation, the LAC was called in.
The false allegations leaked in the “Initial Staff Report” were damaging to the reputations of many dedicated and
hardworking employees of this agency: folks who come to work in prisons filled with violent, angry, and
dangerous inmates. Those employees deserve an apology for the lies that were leaked, but they will never hear
one. Such libelous conduct is all too common in our political discourse and those few who purvey it do so while
hiding behind their self-granted and self-serving immunity. Others are sucked into the slanderous cacophony only
later to claim ignorance. Few are ever big enough to simply say: “I was wrong. I apologize.”
We are not a perfect agency. Our policies are not perfect and at times we fail to follow our own rules. We admit
that we make mistakes and we welcome fair-minded assistance in identifying areas where we can improve. Our
employees try hard to make us safer, but sometimes they get over-zealous, as with the Lee ‘inmate search’ test
incident.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we operate in the state with the 7th worst civil justice system in the
nation and like most state prison systems, we have long been the most costly insured of the IRF and the most sued
agency a state where a ‘litigation lottery’, ‘jackpot justice’ civil justice system is costly to this state; this agency is
not to blame for that litigious environment.
Most importantly, we do not “withhold food,” we do not “falsify records,” we do not “abuse inmates,” we do not
knowingly tolerate wrongdoing, and, we would never intentionally “allow a hostage to be raped.” Your data and
field work confirmed as much and, with few exceptions, we believe that your report fairly identifies specific, past
instances where our performance has fallen short. In this respect, we commend you.
However, we were hopeful that that your report would also prove that the LAC will not be used for political
purposes and that no individual senator, regardless of seniority, will be allowed to cast the shadow of bias,
control, and partiality over the audit process. Disclosing personal, political, and financial interests and
involvement by a senior senator would have required firm resolve to follow Generally Accepted Government
Auditing (GAGA) Standards and great courage to withstand the retaliation that would follow. In this respect, you
failed.
Our larger concern is this: if the LAC does not request legislation that prevents individual lawmakers from
intervening in, directing, or influencing the work and process of the LAC, public and agency trust in the LAC will
continue to decline. And, when lawmakers attempt to gain access to protected information and disclose protected
information (even on television), it should be the LAC, not the audited agency that reports such misconduct and
seeks enforcement of the law.
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2010, 07:46 PM
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Does anyone know what "Lee ‘inmate search’ test" was? Just curious.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:36 AM
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I don't know but my man was moved straight from kirkland to lee chesterfield and it is still on lockdown from last year. He can't help the state don't have beds. thats sucks. he now is not able to have visitation or make phone calls. He is just starting off and they are doing him wrong.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:47 AM
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That's terrible. Mine is in Kirkland now about a month and is waiting to be classified and transferred. We were given IMO a harsh punishment for a non-violent drug charge so instead of rehab my man got 5 years. I'm all for the letting these people out to flush out the system. How long has your man been there and how long was he at Kirkland?
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:21 AM
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he was at kirkland for 103 days and he has only been at lee chesterfield unit for 2 weeks
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