By Gregory Yee email@example.com
RIDGEVILLE — The sun beat down outside Lieber Correctional Institution on Wednesday afternoon, glinting off razor-sharp Concertina wire lining parallel, 12-foot tall fences at the high-security prison.
For years, fencing like this helped keep prisoners from escaping but did little to stop the flow of contraband like cellphones, tobacco products, drugs and weapons inside. As of Monday, 50-foot tall nets encircle Lieber and officials say they believe the equipment will make life inside prison walls safer.
S.C. Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling and Lieber Correctional Warden Randall Williams stared up at the netting — the same kind used at many golf courses to stop errant balls from damaging nearby property or hitting traffic — on Wednesday, remarking that not even Tom Brady could throw something over it.
The nets are the latest step of a roughly $7 million project to encircle all of South Carolina’s medium and high-security prisons and Stirling says nets previously installed at Ridgeland and Evans correctional institutions have been showing promise.
“There’s just no way to throw over,” he said. “At Ridgeland and Evans, we were getting about five or six (attempts) per week. Now, throw-overs have stopped.”