Investigation: Inmates using cell phones to access "Facebook Live" in prison


The escape of Lieber Correctional Institute inmate Jimmy Causey has reignited concerns the apparently rampant problem of prisoners gaining access to cell phones in prison.

Causey was arrested outside Austin, Texas early Friday morning after escaping Lieber on Wednesday. Causey was found with several cell phones. Prison records show he'd been disciplined four times while in prison in South Carolina for having cell phones, or attempting to get them.

State prison officials said Tuesday they are positive cell phones played a role in Causey's escape, along with drones.

ABC News 4 has looked into the issue of cell phones in prison in the past, noting how a bill in the Statehouse two years ago would have strengthened penalties for those convicted of providing contraband, but the proposal failed.

Meanwhile, our ABC affiliate in Charlotte, WSOC-TV, recently investigated contraband issues in South Carolina prisons, including the phenomenon of inmates using cell phones to access social media behind bars -- even using Facebook Live.

On Friday, ABC News 4's Ashley Blackstone interviewed investigative reporter Paul Boyd, who did the story on South Carolina prisoners using social media. View that interview in the video attached to this story.

If you know of an SCDC offender who has a cell phone or maintains information on a social networking website, please report the suspicious activity using the form by clicking here.

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