I’ve started to notice that there’s a side of prison that Beyond Scared Straight is not showing these kids. Apparently, jail can be one big party complete with drugs, cash and selfies.
Pictures on social media show that inmates at a Tennesse prison were having the time of their life while behind bars and for some reason, no one noticed.
A Channel 4 I-Team investigation reveals more than 100 inmates in Tennessee prisons operating their own Facebook pages, displaying photos and videos of drugs, cash and parties while they are behind bars.
The Facebook posts raise serious questions for the Tennessee Department of Corrections because the inmates aren’t supposed to have internet access and cell phones are prohibited in prisons.
The photos and videos show inmates claiming to be using drugs, smoking, hoarding snacks, giving each other tattoos, and in one photograph, burning clothes inside a cell.
“Anyone who sees those videos, they’re going to be sickened by it. They’re going to be angry,” said Verna Wyatt, executive director of Tennessee Voices for Victims, an advocacy group for crime victims.
The Channel 4 I-Team found inmates using Facebook not only to communicate instantly with family and friends, but also to talk to inmates in other prisons.
“I guarantee you, when the commissioner sees this, there’s going to be a reckoning. And there should be,” Wyatt said.
The Channel 4 I-Team released all our findings to the state department of correction and assistant commissioner Tony Parker, who is charge of security in state prisons.
“These are murderers, rapists, other convicted criminals and they appear to be having a pretty good time in prison,” asked chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley.
“Again, I don’t like it. But it’s a problem we face every day,” said Parker.
What the Channel 4 I-Team uncovered is like a highlight reel of audacity.
Convicted murderer Rivera Peoples posted pictures and video, showing off the contraband iPhone he somehow got in prison to operate his Facebook page.
In one video an inmate sitting beside Peoples in the prison yard can he heard saying, “I believe I’m smoking better than everybody.”
The video shows the inmate asking people how much money Peoples has collected while in prison. Peoples responds, “I’m a thousand, definitely a thousand.”
The Channel 4 I-Team examined more than 100 communications on the inmates’ Facebook pages and found one case of an inmate communicating with an inmate in another prison.
One of the inmates wrote that he needs to get in touch with someone at the other inmate’s prison and to send his phone number. The other inmate then posted his phone number.
“Here are two inmates communicating with each other in two different prisons,” Finley said to Parker.
“It is a problem. Obviously this is instant communication,” Parker said.
One photo shows three inmates holding up a shirt that is on fire inside a prison cell. The window to the cell is covered up.
Obviously this is a problem. You cant have inmates acting like incarceration is a vacation. Maybe one of the wardens should start following some of the imates on Facebook. At least then they can keep up with that they’re doing.
Watch some of the videos inmates posted here