It’s one thing to be sentenced to life without parole in prison, but it’s something else to be an inmate of such notoriety that the sentence is served in protective custody. Such might be the case with new state prisoner Steven Rios – a former Columbia policeman whose case is widely known outside and inside the state prison system. He’s been sentenced for killing a college student with whom he’d had a homosexual relationship. Corrections Department Spokesman John Fougere says inmates in protective custody are pretty much by themselves. Rios is being evaluated now at the Fulton prison diagnostic center. Fougere says some inmates decide they don’t want to be in protective custody so they can join the general population.