5 problems facing South Carolina’s prisons
Several inmates at a South Carolina prison will be facing charges after officials found out they were posting a live video stream from inside the facility, according to a Tuesday Tweet from the S.C. Department of Corrections.
Department officials were tipped off about the livestream and found the inmates responsible at Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison located in Bishopville, according to the Tweet.
Investigators confiscated the phones inmates were using to do the livestream, according to the Tweet. Officials are in the process of filing charges against the inmates.
Its unclear how many inmates were involved.
Officials are not sure how the inmates were able to get around a system used at Lee Correctional to block cell phone service at the prison, according to the Tweet.
The Department employed a managed access system in the wake of the deadly riot at Lee Correctional in April 2018, which left seven men dead. The system is supposed to stop any phone that is not white-listed from getting a signal to send texts, place calls or connect to the internet.
The Department of Corrections obtained the system as part of a three-year $1.5 million contract with Tecore Networks.
“This is one more reason we need to pass legislation to jam cell phone signals,” the department Tweeted.
Prison officials have struggled to get cell phone use under control within South Carolina’s prison system for years. They blamed the prolific use of phones and other contraband for the the riot at Lee Correctional.
In April, the Department of Corrections tested a new cell phone jamming technology at Broad River Correctional in Columbia in an attempt to improve their system.
“The technology works,” Director Bryan Stirling said in a statement at the time. “This has the ability to change everything and make prisons safer for everyone.”
Stirling and others at the department have long pushed for jamming technology, which is currently banned under federal law, to become legal.