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Broad River prison in "lockdown"

The 1,500-inmate Broad River Correctional Facility several miles northwest of downtown Columbia is on “lockdown” status.

Officials said today (Monday) the maximum security male prison - home to some of the state’s most dangerous criminals - is likely to stay that way until an ongoing investigation determines that the safety of inmates or staff won’t be jeopardized by lifting the lockdown.

The prison, which is a collection of buildings on a larger campus within security fences, has been on lockdown since Wednesday.

The term “lockdown” means all inmates remain in their cells and have food delivered to them.

“It’s a monumental undertaking,” said S.C. Corrections Department spokesman Josh Gelinas.

Gelinas declined to specify the nature of any threat. But he said “lockdowns” at Broad River are unusual and undertaken only when prison authorities have an allegation that inmate, staff or public safety might be threatened.

“We take all allegations seriously,” he said.