Authorities find phones hidden in ceilings during shakedown in Alcorn County correctional facility

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — A recent shakedown in Alcorn County resulted in the largest regional contraband bust for the Mississippi Department of Corrections this year.

“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.”

MDOC officials said more than 100 cellphones and cellphone chargers, large bags of tobacco and numerous other contraband items, including shoes and shanks, were seized Wednesday morning at the Alcorn County Regional Correctional Facility.

MDOC said they found cell phones hidden in the ceilings and light fixtures were being used to charge the phones. Contraband also was found in the back of television sets, inside garbage cans, and in the desk of an employee.

Hall said that the issue of cellphones in the hands of inmates is a public safety concern because they have been used to aid 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.”

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