Inmate Goes Live on Facebook from Inside SC Prison

Cell phone contraband is making headlines tonight, as an inmate filmed a Facebook live segment from inside a Bennettsville prison.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - New videos have surfaced showing a South Carolina inmate in a state prison holding a knife and making boasts and threats on Facebook Live.

It's the latest example of how inmates in our state's prisons are getting access to cell phones, a problem the corrections department says it needs federal help to combat.

The videos came to News19's attention after a viewer sent them to us, because she said the South Carolina Department of Corrections didn't respond to her when she went to them about them.

News19 is not naming the inmate, so that we do not give added attention to what he's trying to do online and his efforts to get around the rules.

The recording was made from inside the walls of Evans Correctional in Bennettsville, SC over in Marlboro County. Both were broadcast with the last week.

"I'm live in this b--ch," he can be heard saying.

You can clearly see the inmate, who is serving 10 years for a burglary conviction out of Newberry County, holding a weapon, what appears to be a homemade knife. 

Prison documents show that within the last five months this inmate has been disciplined for possession or attempt to posses a cellphone and creating or assisting with a social network site. Because of that he's lost canteen, television and visitation privileges.

This isn't his first time posting. As a matter of fact, his last post was around 11 a.m. Thursday morning. 
A look at his timeline shows that he posted on August 8th, went live on Facebook on August 4th, posted on his 31st birthday on July 27, posted a video on July 22nd, and updated his profile picture from inside his cell on July 5th.

Cellphones in prison are not a new problem. Just last month, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster asked federal officials to allow state prisons to jam cellphone signals to keep prison safer.

Department of Corrections Spokeswoman Sommer Sharpe issued this statement: "we've been very vocal about what an issue contraband cell phones are, not only in our prisons, but in corrections departments across the country. This video is another example of the unfettered access to the outside world that cell phones give our inmates. This why the FCC should allow prisons across the country to block cell phones."

When asked about the weapons, she simply said that the agency is investigating.

Prison officials are encouraging you to say something if you see something, tips can be submitted on their website here: 

do you know how the viewer tried to contact our agency? tips can be submitted here on our website: http://public.doc.state.sc.us/social-media-tips/  They can also email corrections at info@doc.sc.gov

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