By Mike Robertson

Kemper County Messenger

A surprise shakedown by the Mississippi Department of Corrections resulted in the confiscation of 24 unauthorized cellphones at the Kemper-Neshoba Regional Correctional Facility in DeKalb along with chargers and small quantities of spice and tobacco.

Kemper County Sheriff James Moore the MDOC sweep took place on on day, Nov. 13 between 1:30 and 2 a.m.

“It helps us in trying to keep contraband out of our facility," Moore said regarding the shakedown. "The 24 phones were more than we like. We want zero, but it’s nowhere near the number they confiscate in other facilities.”

Moore said the problem with cell phones is that they allow inmates to communicate with the outside world in an uncontrolled manner, and allows them to potentially conduct criminal activity while incarcerated. It is against the law for inmates to possess cell phones.

Moore said the KNRCF has changed some of its procedures to cut down on contraband. He stated that contraband makes its way into the facility either through visitation or staff members. And he pointed out that his agency will prosecute whoever is attempting to smuggle the illegal items in, as his department has a zero tolerance policy.

The shakedown was conducted by MDOC personnel alone. Moore said that Corrections will normally contact the warden or the sheriff just prior to the search.