Instead of dismantling old PCs, crafty prisoners built their own!
Never underestimate the ingenuity of people in desperate situations. As one Ohio prison has found out the hard way, people have an insane ability to make-do under tough circumstances.
Inmates in an Ohio prison were set to work in a contract program dismantling old PCs and taking apart the components prior to recycling. Instead, they built two new computers from the refurbished and pilfered parts, then hid them in the ceiling of a training room.
Cable snitched on lags
How was their contraband discovered? An unusual amount of activity on the network that was attributed to a contractor’s account triggered a warning from the internet provider. When initial investigations showed that the contractor wasn’t even working on the day in question, that led the prison’s IT department to look further.
They didn’t have to look very hard. A network cable in a training room literally snaked up the wall and disappeared into the ceiling, and had been in place for quite some time before anyone bothered to ask why there was a loose cable hanging down the wall.
The contents of the rebuilt computers included crime scene information, instructions on making bombs, detailed articles on manufacturing drugs (a major problem for correctional facilities), pornography, and even in-house information like records of which inmates had passes to be in different areas of the facility.
Program will continue
For its part, the facility administration is taking this issue very seriously, but has demonstrated a clear-headed approach to the matter. They recognize the importance of allowing inmates to continue to work in their programs – as job opportunities in corrections provide skills they will need upon release, help to pass the time in a positive manner, and even provide a small amount of spending money for personal items that the facility doesn’t supply – and have made no mention of shutting down the program that led to this contraband activity.