It’s the 15th shakedown this year and the Mississippi Department of Corrections is considering it the largest contraband bust that they’ve had.
The search was conducted at the Alcorn County Regional Correctional Facility and officials confiscated more than 100 phones and cellphone chargers, large bags of tobacco and numerous other items including shoes and shanks. The seizure happened on July 12, 2017.
The phones were being hidden in ceiling fans and light fixtures were used for charging. Several inmates were surprised when MDOC officers came around and one tried to conceal a cellphone by laying on it.
Contraband was also found in the back of a television set, inside garbage cans, and in the desk of an employee.
“I am stunned at the amount of contraband found and the level to which it appears to have been hidden in this facility housing 240 inmates,” Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said. “Until the Department of Corrections receives a corrective plan of action, this facility is on lockdown. There is no way staff or inmates are safe with this amount of contraband.”
Hall said inmates having cellphones really poses a threat to public safety. She said there have been cases all across the country and in the state in which cellphones have aided in criminal activity.
“These shakedowns are being done for the sake of public safety,” hall said. “This is our 15th shakedown under Operation Zero Tolerance. By now, all facilities should expect an unexpected visit from us.”