In December 2020, law enforcement officials in South Carolina as well as the federal government announced the indictment of 40 people involved in a “sprawling criminal enterprise” inside and outside the state’s prison system.

The 147-count indictment, which included murders and kidnappings, highlights the challenges faced by law enforcement and intelligence experts trying to stem crime emanating from prisons – but they face an uphill battle. At the heart of the spread of crime within prisons is the cell phone, which connects inmates from institution to institution within a correctional system, as well as with individuals in the outside world.

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