South Carolina

SC prison guard accused of beating handcuffed inmate, warrant says

After punching a handcuffed inmate several times, a South Carolina prison guard has been arrested, according to an arrest warrant.

Sheik S. Johnson, a guard a Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville, was charged with misconduct in office and assault and battery, according to a statement from the SC Department of Corrections.

Lieber Correctional is a maximum security men’s prison.

On Oct. 18, Johnson allegedly struck the inmate multiple times in the head while handcuffed, according to the warrant. The inmate ended up with a wound on his head.

After being interviewed by investigators with SCDC’s Police Services, Johnson admitted to hitting the inmate, according to the warrant.

Correctional officers at Lee Correctional Institution make up to $1,600 less than the national average. Their low pay is tied to high turnover and a high number of vacancies at the institution and throughout South Carolina Department of Corrections.

Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.