A former South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) official has been sentenced to a year in federal prison after pleading guilty to ordering excessive force against two inmates.
According to a release from the US Attorney’s office, 36-year-old Nicole Samples pleaded guilty last year to two counts of deprivation of civil rights. She had been a former lieutenant with DJJ when the incident occurred in January 2017.
Prosecutors said Samples of ordered correctional officers at the facility to hogtie two juveniles with mechanical restraints as a disciplinary measure for making too much noise. Samples oversaw the application of the restraints on both juveniles.
Court documents say the teens were left in the hogtied position for more than two hours as punishment. This was despite DJJ policy barring the use of restraints as punishment and specifically forbids the practice of “hogtying.”
A DJJ surveillance camera captured one of the two juveniles being hogtied and left alone for hours. Prosecutors said Samples directed her subordinates to falsify reports related to the use of force incident.
The case was investigated by the FBI and State Law Enforcement Division.