Eighteen lawsuits have been filed against the South Carolina Department of Corrections since an April prison riot left seven inmates dead and 22 others injured.
These lawsuits are likely to increase the already steep cost created by litigation brought against the prison system.
The Post & Courier reports that between 2013 and May 2018, the state’s insurer spent $11.5 million on defense lawyers and to pay out liability claims.
Attorneys for prisoners bringing the claims say the rise in litigation against the prison system is indicative of the poor conditions that prisoners face while incarcerated in South Carolina.
The Post & Courier reports that 12 inmates were murdered in 2017. As of July 2018, nine inmates have died.
Prison officials say it’s difficult to fix the problems due to budget shortcomings, a shortage in manpower and the large number of safety concerns.