JACKSON – MDOC officers made one of the largest contraband busts this year in an unannounced shakedown early this morning at Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility in Cleveland.
Confiscated items include 54 packages of tobacco, 47 cellphones, 83 cell phone chargers, 27 sets of headphones, four shanks, two knives, pills, tennis shoes, marijuana, cigarettes, and cigars.
"Pending an investigation and the findings provided to MDOC, I have requested that this facility be placed on lockdown," Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said. "Finding such a large amount of contraband, especially after the facility recently did its own shakedown, is disturbing. I expect all facilities in the MDOC system to have zero tolerance for contraband. Otherwise, neither staff nor inmates are safe."
Like other shakedowns conducted under Operation Zero Tolerance, officers found large amounts of canteen items, indicating that offenders could be using the items for illegal means or personal gains.
Another familiar sight was the use of the Bible to store contraband. One unique discovery at the 13th major shakedown was a cellphone charger
hidden inside a salt and pepper shaker.
"Sometimes inmates’ creativity to break the law while incarcerated is astounding," Hall said. "Therefore, MDOC must continue to use a variety of means, including shakedowns and lockdowns, to address the flow of contraband."
Bolivar County Regional is one of 15 such facilities in the statewide prison system. It had 294 inmates as of early this morning; it can hold a maximum 369 inmates.
All facilities will be searched in the contraband crackdown Commissioner Hall began in March. Other shakedowns have occurred at Washington County Regional Correctional Facility, Stone County Regional Correctional Facility, George County Correctional Facility, South Mississippi Correctional Institution, Hinds County Restitution Center, Carroll-Montgomery County Regional Correctional Facility, Wilkinson County Correctional Facility, East Mississippi Correctional Facility, Marshall County Correctional Facility, Yazoo County Regional Correctional Facility, and Holmes-Humphreys County Regional Correctional Facility.