Lieber prison officials, others try to block contraband cell phones

Inmates walk around the yard.
Inmates walk around the yard.

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Prison officials in South Carolina are working to keep cell phones from reaching inmates.

Cell phones can bring as much as $500 each when sold inside prison.

The phones help inmates carry out blackmail schemes, coordinate smuggling, torment victims or just speak to family and friends without officials listening.

Some phones are tossed over prison walls. Others are brought in by prison employees. Corrections Department officials say since 2005, more than 200 corrections officers and other prison employees have been arrested, fired or disciplined for contraband violations.

Prison officials seize about 2,500 cell phones each year from the state's 27 prisons.

Lieber Correctional Institution warden Wayne McCabe in Ridgeville says it's impossible to stop all smuggling.

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