Prison supervisor arrested for multiple charges at SMCI

A correctional supervisor at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Greene County is facing criminal charges and the loss of her job as Commissioner Burl Cain continues implementing changes to make the prison system safer.

Lt. LaShawn Lynette Coleman, 53, is charged with possession of alcoholic beverages within a correctional facility under state law § 97-31-35 and trafficking in a controlled substance under § 41-29-139.

Coleman was arrested following a search of her personal belongings after she arrived for work Sept. 19. Twenty (20) small packs of a green leafy substance were found in an envelope she carried in a bag along with food and water.  Six $100 bills were found when she emptied her pockets. Also, a plastic jug containing liquid believed to be alcohol, but labeled as Clorox, was confiscated during the search.

“It’s just a matter of getting control of our prisons,” Commissioner Cain said. “We have several things in the works that will help us reduce the contraband and getting rid of staff bringing it in is one measure. We also will be installing cameras and using Probation and Parole agents to conduct searches. We are going to have safe and secure prisons.”

Coleman was taken to the Greene County Jail and later received bonds totaling $60,000. She has been with the agency for a total of 26 non-consecutive years, starting with her initial hire date in February 1993. She has been a correctional supervisor since September 2007.