Prisoners smoke joints, show off phones in prison videos
Posted June 8
Nashville, TN — A video posted on the Facebook page of a Tennessee prisoner shows him wearing a mask and smoking from a makeshift bong while inside a jail cell.
In the video, posted sometime in late April, the inmate wears a mask with a hose connected to a joint.
He also posted a picture of him wearing the mask with the joint on his Facebook page and wrote, "All Gas No Breakz."
At one point in the video, the inmate recording the bong hit turns the phone on himself saying that they're in the pen.
The I-Team also found another video of inmate Kortavious Carwell showing off his phone while doing a live video for 20 minutes.
On Facebook, Carwell said he is an inmate at the Northwest Correctional Complex.
The I-Team also found another picture of an inmate displaying a shiv and several other photos of inmates posing in jail cells.
The I-Team discovered it all just a few days after we sat down with Lee Dotson, the Department of Correction's new chief interdiction officer, to ask once again what it's going to take to stop outrageous behavior in the prison system displayed on social media.
"We are all committed to eliminating contraband in the system," Dotson said.
Since our last story aired last week, TDOC ramped up its own social media presence, posting several times on Twitter their intent to crack down on contraband.
At the same time TDOC posted those warnings, convicted murderer Morris Long also posted on Facebook from his jail cell.
Long was convicted of murdering his wife Ashlee with a hammer.
In his post, he wrote that he's "just trying to get through the day."
His victim's friends fired back on his Facebook wall, writing, "Ashlee was trying to get through the day until you took that option away from her in such a heinous act!"
Another person wrote, "Being in jail and being on Facebook is not paying for his wrongs every day."
The Channel 4 I-Team reached out to TDOC once again about the video of the drug use, and a spokeswoman sent us a statement reading:
"As Mr. Dotson said during his interview with you last week, we certainly understand their frustration and want to assure them the Department is committed to doing everything within our power to combat illegal contraband and prosecute those who attempt to introduce it. The introduction of contraband into correctional facilities is a serious violation of state law and is not tolerated by the Tennessee Department of Correction. While this is a national problem, the Department works to intercept and recover any contraband. In addition, we work with our law enforcement partners to actively prosecute those who violate that law. Earlier this year, the Department joined other DOCs throughout the nation in asking the FCC to reconsider their stance on cell phone jamming technology. In addition, the Department recently hired Mr. Dotson as Chief Interdiction Officer to lead our efforts into this issues. This position is charged with collaborating with the investigative agencies of local, State, and Federal officials to not only stop the flow of contraband but to also yield arrests in the community thus making Tennessee safer. Additionally, we are constantly educating the community about our tipline number, 1-844-TDC-FIND. We share that quite often because this is an issue that we have been and will continue to give our attention to. We encourage anyone with knowledge of any threat to the safety and security of our institutions to call."