Prisoners On Facebook: 9 investigation Uncovers Prisoners Using Facebook Live While Locked Up


Updated: May 19, 2017 – 5:33 PM

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A Channel 9 investigation has uncovered dozens of inmates throughout South Carolina prisons actively using cellphones behind bars.

Many prisoners are posting Facebook Live videos and using other social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat in real-time, as well.

All of this activity is strictly prohibited by state law.

Our investigation even led us to convicted murders using Facebook Live within high-security correctional institutions.

The videos also reveal rampant drug use behind prison walls. Many of the inmates proudly announce on camera that they are high on drugs or drunk from alcohol made in prison.

Two inmates fight in one Facebook photo surrounded by more than 60 prisoners with no correctional officers in sight.

We took the results of our investigation to Bryan Striling, executive director of South Carolina’s Department of Corrections, and he agreed our findings were outrageous.

The executive director blames low staffing levels for the activity we found and says they don’t have enough officers to increase patrols or sweep prison cells more often.

Stirling admits that despite current efforts, contraband cellphones are readily available to his inmates.

South Carolina’s Department of Corrections says there will be an investigation into our findings, including what prison officials say can be done stop this growing problem.

You can watch our full report starting at 5 p.m. Monday on Channel 9 Eyewitness News.

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