Initial deal struck to end South Carolina prison riot suits

Crime & Safety

FILE-In this Wednesday, April 10, 2019 file photo, prison staff work at Lee Correctional Institution, in Bishopville, S.C. A pair of federal lawsuits accuses South Carolina prisons officials of constitutional violations surrounding a riot in which seven inmates were killed at an institution last year. The wrongful death lawsuits were filed Tuesday and provided to The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)

(AP) — South Carolina prison officials say they’ve reached the initial approval phase of a $6 million settlement to resolve dozens of lawsuits the Department of Corrections is facing following a deadly prison riot that killed seven inmates.

Department of Corrections spokesperson Chrysti Shain told The Associated Press officials will appear in front of the State Fiscal Accountability Authority on Tuesday seeking permission to move forward to settle 81 cases related to the 2018 riot at Lee Correctional Institution.

The riot raged for more than seven hours. Most of the slain were stabbed or slashed; others appeared to have been beaten.

Officials have said the violence was the worst U.S. prison riot in 25 years.

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