Contraband issues rise in Mid-South correctional facilities - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Contraband issues rise in Mid-South correctional facilities

(WMC-TV) – Contraband in jails and prisons remain a problem for law enforcement all across the Mid-South. Tobacco, drugs, and cell phones remain the top pieces confiscated by corrections officers and the numbers are on the rise.

David Weakley, 26, is serving a 21 year sentence for cocaine possession and other convictions in Parchman prison located south of Clarksdale in Mississippi.

Corrections officers found a cell phone on him this year and photos show he's smoking -- all behind bars.

Mississippi State Representative Tommy Taylor is also a former Bolivar County warden.

Taylor said, "They're sitting there saying ‘hey I got a cell phone, and y'all can prosecute me because I'm admitting to it, so give me more time in prison.'"

It cost Weakley 180 days of jail time. The contraband issue is not just a problem in Parchman, it's happening in the Mid-South and the numbers are rising.

In Desoto County, Mississippi, corrections officers confiscated 65 pieces of contraband in 2012. The numbers jumped to 80 pieces in 2013 and 15 items have already been found in 2014. That would be on pace to be 10 percent higher than 2013.

It forces law enforcement to be extra vigilant, for safety and security of officers and inmates in and around jails and prisons.

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