JACKSON – Two regional facilities were the subject of surprise shakedowns early Thursday as part of the Mississippi Department of Corrections’ contraband crackdown known as Operation Zero Tolerance.
Officers searched the Yazoo County Correctional Facility in Yazoo City and the Holmes-Humphreys County Regional Correctional Facility in Lexington before dawn, respectively, bringing to five the number of facilities Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall has ordered searched this month.
At the Yazoo facility, officers found homemade alcoholic beverage and excessive nuisance contraband.
Several cell phones, cell phone chargers, cell phone batteries, digital scales, cigarette lighters, packages of cigarettes, and suspected spice and marijuana were seized at the Holmes County facility. In addition, large amounts of commissary items were found with several inmates, indicating that the inmates may be using the items for illegal purposes, such as extortion.
"I am pleased that we did not find a large amount of dangerous contraband," Hall said. "As evident by what we found especially at Yazoo, the zero tolerance message apparently is being heard. Our goal is to make the prison system safer for the staff and inmates."
All facilities will be searched, Hall said.
Inmates caught with contraband face disciplinary action.
Hall has extended the renewed security effort to inmates posting on Facebook and the search of visitors and vendors upon entrance to prison grounds.
Yazoo and Holmes counties are among 15 regional jails in the prison system. On Thursday, Yazoo held 240 inmates, 60 fewer than its capacity; Holmes, which can hold a maximum 280 inmates, had 224 inmates.