SOUTH CAROLINA (WCSC) - Inmate homicides are pretty rare in South Carolina, according to Mortality in State Prisons reports from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Homicides accounted for 2.7% of all South Carolina prison deaths from 2001 to 2014, the most recent data posted from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The numbers show at least 884 state and federal prisoner deaths in South Carolina in that time frame.
816 of those were natural deaths, frequently from illness like cancer or heart disease. 40 were suicides, 1 was drug or alcohol related, 3 were accidents, and 24 were homicides.
South Carolina seemed to sit in the middle of all the states when it comes to the number and rate of prisoner deaths, according to the report.
But last year, the number of inmates assaults on each other and on prison staff is higher than the S.C. Department of Corrections would like.
According to the SCDOC Accountability Report, in the fiscal year 2016-2017, there was a target goal to have fewer than 88 inmates on inmate assaults resulting in serious injury. The actual number of serious assaults ended up at 134.
During the same time frame, there was a goal of having fewer than 19 assaults on prison staff. There were actually 37.
We requested more recent assault numbers from SCDOC Monday but haven't received them yet.
South Carolina's average daily inmate population in SCDC facilities was 20,483 in 2017. That number has decreased more than 14% from seven years ago.