Contraband cell phones an ongoing problem in Mississippi prisons - - Jackson, MS

Contraband cell phones an ongoing problem in Mississippi prisons

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Contraband cell phones are a daily problem in Mississippi prisons. Corrections officials say their hands are tied until the Federal Communications Commission allows for signals to be jammed at prisons.

"It's real," explained Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher. "It's not just some myth that we make up to try to get attention. It's a problem. And until it gets addressed at the FCC level, I don't see it getting any better anytime soon."

Mississippi is using technology that attempts to block some of the cell signals, but the social media posts from within the prison walls are further proof that it's a constant problem.

"It's a security issue," noted Fisher. "We think it's a public safety issue. As you can imagine, people who are engaged in criminal enterprises from inside can certainly impact public safety on the outside."

The problem isn't isolated to Mississippi. That's why the Association of State Correctional Administrators is lobbying for the Federal Communications Commission to reevaluate it's regulations.

"If they're not able to use them, it's just a paperweight," said Fisher. "But as long as they're able to use them, people are going to continue to smuggle them in."

Here in Mississippi, there was a federal conspiracy case involving Aryan Nation gang activity from inside and outside the prison.

"They called a hit down on an individual that was subsequently murdered," described Fisher. "There were some other threats that were issued, including threats against law enforcement officers."

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