Inmates use cell phones ‘to commit additional crimes’

ATLANTA — The state Department of Corrections is investigating a Monday incident at Telfair State Prison in Helena in which Inmates used smuggled cell phones to start a fight.

Three inmates were sent to the hospital, and two remain in stable condition. A corrections officer was also hurt. Two dorms at the prison were placed on lock down.

But, state officials say smuggled cell phones cause problems. Inmates, authorities say, can use the phones to commit more crimes.

“This incident brings to light the serious dangers of cell phones in our prison system,” Department of Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens said in a news release. “Every day we fight the battle of keeping cell phones and other contraband out of our facilities. While some believe supplying an inmate with a cell phone is useful to contact family and friends, in most cases, the opposite is proven.

“Inmates are using cell phones to commit additional crimes and carry out gang activity,” Owens added. “This incident also illustrates the physical dangers of cell phones in prisons. By supplying an inmate with a cell phone, the safety of everyone at the facility is jeopardized.”

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