Pastors teaching formerly violent inmates to keep peace 18 months after deadly brawl at S.C. prison

Pastors teaching formerly violent inmates to keep peace 18 months after deadly brawl at S.C. prison
A faith-based group is working with formerly violent inmates to help keep the peace following a deadly brawl at Lee Correctional Institution in 2018. (Source: SCDC/Andre Norman: Academy of Hope)

LEE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – More than a year after a brawl at South Carolina’s Lee Correctional Institution left seven inmates dead and another 17 injured, a group is bringing a message of hope to violent offenders.

According to a post on the S.C. Department of Corrections’ Facebook page, the Academy of Hope is teaching formerly violent inmates and rival gang leaders skills to keep peace inside the prison walls.

The post includes a photo of Pastor John Gray of Greenville’s Relentless Church sharing a “mighty message of forgiveness, grace and fatherhood.”

“In return, the inmates gathered in a prayer circle for (a) powerful sendoff before he left,” the post stated.

#Powerful The Story Behind this picture : • • A year after a deadly brawl took seven lives at Lee Correctional, the...

Posted by South Carolina Department of Corrections on Monday, October 21, 2019

Photos of the inmates praying was in stark contrast to the violence that broke out at Lee Correctional in April 2018.

The seven inmates died following multiple “inmate on inmate altercations.”

Four of the inmates who were killed had ties to the Grand Strand and the Pee Dee.

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