Bill Would Make Tougher Punishment For Contraband Providers

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A bill that is up for debate in the state senate will upgrade the charges to a felony, for anyone caught providing contraband to a state prison.

This video of inmates rapping in a state prison has raised concerns with lawmakers and tomorrow the bill will go before a senate committee.

Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling says the inmates violated several rules... The big one is having a cell phone in a prison.

Other violations are that the windows were covered and there was writing on some of the inmate's hats.

There is a pending federal case after a corrections officer was shot six times at his home four years ago.

Stirling says it was after an alleged hit put on the officer from an inmate using a cell phone. The recent video has some lawmakers like Lexington Senator Katrina Shealy upset.

"What kind of image does that put forth for South Carolina but what kind of image does that put forth for other gang members and young people out there. Oh look prison is fun, let's go to prison so we can have a good time and make videos, I mean they were jumping around, I saw it on TV yesterday. First off, prison is not a fun place to be, we shouldn't be having fun in prison, they are not supposed to have cell phones, it needs to be a felony," said Shealy.

A hearing for the bill will be held Thursday at 9AM.


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