SC inmate uses Facebook Live to film rant from inside prison
Posted August 11
An inmate serving a 10-year sentence in a South Carolina prison for burglary keeps popping up on the internet, sharing his prison experience and exposing the prison's security flaws.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections is investigating how inmate Jose Ariel Rivera continues to use a cell phone to post live videos to social media while flashing what appears to be a knife. Rivera is serving time at Evans Corrections Institution in Bennettsville.
Rivera, 31, has been reprimanded twice this year before going on a profanity-laced post on Facebook Live. Prison officials said he has lost privileges, but the post shows he's able to skirt the system.
"We've been very vocal about cell phone contraband, not only in our prisons, but in corrections departments across the country," a prison spokesperson said. "This video is another example of the unfettered access to the outside world that cell phones give inmates, which is why the (Federal Communications Commission) should allow prisons to block cell phone (signals)."
South Carolina's Sen. Brad Hutto, who investigates issues within the Department of Corrections, said it's concerning that state officials don't have more control over what goes on inside the walls of correctional institutions.
"Most of these folks have victims that are associated with their crimes, and the victim should not be subjected to seeing any more of the shenanigans that's going on with these Facebook posts and Twitter, or whatever they're using to get these messages out," Hutto said.
He added: ""So, the question is does this affect the security of the prison? Clearly it does if you've got a weapon inside."