MDOC battles back against inmate cell phones

By The Associated Press

PARCHMAN — State corrections officials are going high tech to combat the problems of illegal cell phones making their way to inmates.

On Wednesday, the Mississippi Department of Corrections announced it has signed with Global Tel Link and Tecore Networks on a program to immobilize illegal cell phones used by inmates at the state penitentiary in Parchman.

Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps says the system uses radio frequencies which intercepts cell phone transmissions in defined areas but permits authorized and 911 calls.

Epps says contraband cell phones have become an issue at prisons across the United States, as inmates make calls for drug deals, witness intimidation, escapes, and other criminal activities.

He says thousands of cell phones are confiscated in Mississippi prisons each year.