DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Contraband. Crittenden County jailers were arrested for sneaking it in this week. Several Shelby County inmates were just caught with it.
Jails across the country are constantly fighting inmates from sneaking stuff in. DeSoto County is building a new jail with that in mind.
"We tell our deputies all the time 'You've got to search everybody that comes in,'" says Sheriff Bill Rasco. "And they do, but inmates have miracle ways of getting stuff in."
Cell phones, cigarettes, and drugs, inmates find ways to get them. The sheriff's department is trying to stop it completely at DeSoto's new jail. Those small items can lead to big worries, and trouble.
"It's a risk for us at all times," Rasco says. "If they can get cigarettes or drugs, they can get weapons in also."
Safety is a primary concern. Rasco says when the county decided to build a new jail, they started planning early on ways to crack down on contraband.
"Trying to make sure we keep individuals that work here safe and inmates safe also."
There will be a big difference in where inmates are allowed to go outside.
Rasco says at the current jail, "People can throw stuff over the fence. Where we're building now it's totally enclosed and has a roof on it. They won't be able to throw anything over into it."
Also, changing are inmate visits. Unless it's an emergency, families will only be able to visit by video.
"Anytime you have people come to your facility visiting, they're going to figure out a way to get inmates in something."
Rasco says every decision was made with safety in mind. "We're not trying to keep them separated; we're trying to keep our facilities secure."
The new jail is expected to open this fall.