Policies under review after inmate posts to video to Facebook - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Policies under review after inmate posts to video to Facebook

(WMC-TV) – An inmate's decision to post video on Facebook is prompting changes to be made at the Shelby County Division of Corrections in order to make sure inmates are constantly supervised.

Investigators say Martez Wright used a smart phone to post videos to Facebook of he and other inmates smoking.

Internal Affairs found the phone, confiscated it, and analyzed it. They found 13 videos the inmate made over the span of four days in April.

The seven officers on duty when the videos were recorded were written up and received verbal reprimands prompting changes to be made at the Shelby County Division of Corrections in order to make sure inmates are constantly supervised.

Investigators say Martez Wright used a smart phone to post videos to Facebook of he and other inmates smoking.

Internal Affairs found the phone, confiscated it, and analyzed it. They found 13 videos the inmate made over the span of four days in April.

The seven officers on duty when the videos were recorded were written up and received verbal reprimands.

Penal Farm Director James Coleman said the situation highlighted the fact that his facility is understaffed by a total of about 80 correctional officers.

"There are times when our officers, we have two assigned to a building, and the officers have to leave to do an escort or go somewhere. That would leave the building with just one officer when there should have been two," said Coleman.

Dozens of cellular phones turn up each month inside the prison.

Part of the problem? The Greenline runs within feet of the outer fence, and inmate's friends can throw contraband over the fence.

Coleman said they plan to install more surveillance cameras by September and they hope to hire more officers in July.

Until then, they will continue to review policies and procedures.

"This is one of those things that happens. We're not proud of it, but I think we'll be better because of it," said Coleman.

Coleman says Wright was smoking tobacco, not weed in those videos.

He has been transferred to a zero tolerance pod where he is without all privileges afforded the general population.

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