National News

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."


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  • Jeffrey Derry Aug 11, 1:50 p.m.
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    Time for a new warden there

  • Robert Fotch Jr Aug 11, 11:54 a.m.
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    Those inmates need to be thrown in the hole for six months for having a shank and a phone.

  • Patrick Gentry Aug 11, 11:23 a.m.
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    Look it's common sense contraband will get through not matter what you try. Even if you reduce the amount of contraband to zero getting through the front door by visitors, vendors, and even employees (which is impossible, just look at IG audits of the TSA they regularly fail to stop drugs, weapons, and other dangerous materials from getting past their checkpoints) you still have many ways to get things inside a prison.

    The real mind boggler is why after the second incident wasn't this inmate placed in solitary confinement. Also where are the additional charges for possessing a weapon inside the prison.

    Maybe, just maybe if we stoped making prisons so luxurious and took crime seriously things like this wouldn't be happening. If people inside don't have respect for the system and understand why they are in prison don't expect them to be changed when they get out.

  • Cnc Stone Aug 11, 9:20 a.m.
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    Yea good luck selling hard time for criminals to the progressive liberals in charge in this state they are tougher on the taxpayers in North Carolina !

  • Robert Swiger Sr. Aug 11, 8:58 a.m.
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    Give him Solitaire confinement and bread and water

  • Jimmy Jones Aug 11, 8:49 a.m.
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    If TIME were punishment, then shouldn't our jails and prisons be empty? Instead our prisons and jails are overflowing.
    If rehabilitation is the penal systems job, then why is the recidivism rate so high? Why do this guys not "fear" prison? Is it because they get three good meals a day, AC in the summer, heat in the winter, exercise equipment, tv, etc.....
    Maybe it's time to bring back hard labor and corporal punishment! THEN, maybe guys like Rivera won't have time on their hands to film themselves in prison with contraband phones "ranting" about the "conditions" in his cell block.