My Take: It’s time to block or jam cell phone service inside Sou - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

My Take: It’s time to block or jam cell phone service inside South Carolina prisons

Contraband seized in South Carolina prisons. (Source: WIS) Contraband seized in South Carolina prisons. (Source: WIS)
STATEWIDE (WIS) -

It’s time to block or jam cell phone service inside South Carolina prisons.

In July, a dangerous criminal escaped from a maximum security institution in our state using a cell phone to facilitate the prison break.

Days after, Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling renewed his call for blocking or jamming cell service.

"This could have been a catastrophic result because of cell phones and drones," Stirling said. "And, it’s a simple fix. Allow us to block the signal. Allow us to not allow these people to continue unfettered access to the outside world.”

Just last week, this SC inmate managed to go live on Facebook while flashing a knife and talking to his “baby momma.” He looked like he was having a ball doing it.

Is this what incarceration is meant to be like? Prisoners using phones to make calls and to communicate via social media? We don’t think so…

"As Director Stirling often says, a cell phone is the most dangerous piece of contraband an inmate can have," South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said. "With cell phones, prisoners have unfettered access to the outside world and can use that access to conduct criminal enterprises from within the walls. That poses a threat to our correctional officers and to all of us.

The best way to end this threat is to jam, block and disrupt the cell phone signal. Unfortunately, the FCC – so far – will not allow this. Be assured: we are working diligently to persuade them otherwise.”

The WIS Editorial Board calls on the FCC to allow South Carolina to stop the madness and address the issue immediately. The safety of corrections officers, their families and other inmates is in jeopardy.

That’s my take, what’s yours?

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