Drones and hundreds of cameras: SC prison officials want people to know they are watching

COLUMBIA — Three hundred feet above the chain-link fence and serpentine wire, the drone hovered just out of ear shot — a robotic sentinel that South Carolina officials hope can thwart a black-market trade of drugs, cellphones and weapons infiltrating the state’s prisons. 

South Carolina’s Department of Corrections showed off an expanding arsenal of technology Thursday that state prison Director Bryan Stirling hopes will clamp down on the contraband and violence in the state’s 21 correctional institutions. 

The drones, which are manned by two Department of Corrections employees — both military veterans — have given prison officials a new bird’s eye view of the fences, prison yards and state facilities where more than 15,000 inmates are housed. 


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