Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said the amount of contraband found during a recent shakedown at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman was unexpected, according to an MDOC press release. The prison remains on lockdown following an MDOC order on Friday, April 20.
The shakedown was part of Operation Zero Tolerance and occurred at three state-operated prisons and three state-owned privately operated prisons, according to an MDOC pres release. MDOC said the shakedowns and lockdown will continue as the agency investigates information indicating potential security breaches.
The department said it remains committed to ongoing efforts to decrease the number of cell phones and amount of illegal drugs in the prison system. Hall has been with the Association of State Correctional Administrators this week in Washington D.C. meeting with the CTIA and cellular company leaders to find a solution to the contraband cellphone problem, according to the release.
The agency seized 38 cell phones, 30 chargers, 40 packs of spice, 29 bags of tobacco, three bags of marijuana, 12 bags of crystal methamphetamine, 41 shanks, two free-world knives, more than 50 green dot numbers, and four pairs of tennis shoes during the shakedown at Unit 29.
"In addition to security measures already in place, we are no longer allowing private vehicles among the housing units," Hall said in a statement. "That is, we are escorting officers to their job assignments. Only non-security and escort units are permitted."