ROCK HILL, S.C. — South Carolina prison officials say they are closing a minimum-security prison that operates a work release program because it has fewer prisoners that fit into minimum security.

Corrections Director Bryan Stirling said Tuesday that the Catawba Pre-Release Center in Rock Hill will close next month.

Officials say the prison opened in 1970 with a capacity of 188 inmates and currently houses 123 prisoners.

Stirling says the state needs fewer minimum-security beds because of sentencing reform and programs in other prisons designed to give inmates skills to find work when they are released.

Stirling said in a statement the 32 corrections officers and other employees will be offered jobs elsewhere in the state prison system.

South Carolina moved its death row back to Columbia last month to save money.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.