In Prison Riot's Wake, South Carolina Sinks Money Into Prison Staffing

April 24, 2018 AT 10:03 AM

A week after seven inmates died in a prison riot, Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday gave the state's prison system approval to spend more money to hire and retain prison guards.

McMaster signed an executive order that gives prisons Director Bryan Stirling authorization to use vacancy funding to bump up the pay of some corrections officers and raise starting salaries in an effort to fill 627 vacant positions for guards. The Columbia Republican's order also removes rules that kept some higher ranking jail staff from earning overtime.

The order also expedites the state's purchasing process so the Corrections Department can install netting around its prisons more quickly to keep contraband cellphones out of the hands of inmates.

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