Two corrections officers at the South Mississippi Correctional Facility in Greene County are now facing charges after being caught with contraband during a shakedown.
Tuesday Jadijah Rawls, 21, and Diane Phillips, 64, were booked into the Greene County Jail. Authorities say they found a cell phone on Rawls, as well as $750 in cash and $1,420 in Green Dot funds on Phillips. In addition to the money found on Phillips, $535 was also found hidden in a wall.
Rawls was hired as a correctional officer trainee in November 2017, and Phillips was a correctional officer since Feb. 2014.
"We are finding people who are trying to supplement their salaries by doing these types of illegal things," Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said.
A report stated the officers at SMCI were surprised when the shakedown included searching them as well as the inmates.
"It's important that we weed out those officers who don't belong among our hardworking, honest employees," Hall said. "We will make the adjustments to do the best we can to carry out our public safety mission."
According to the report, other seized contraband items included 50 sharpened items, 27 smartphones, 41 cell phone chargers, four flip phones, six cellphone batteries, three MP3 players, 20 sets of earbuds and Bluetooth devices, 14 packs of marijuana, 55 packages of spice, 7 suspected packs of crystal methamphetamine, 1 suspected pack of cocaine, 11 packs of tobacco, numerous unidentified pills and assorted other items.
"One officer reportedly said during the shakedown at SMCI that she now feels safe for the first time in 16 years," Hall said. "That is good to hear because these shakedowns are designed to do just that – to help staff and inmates be secure."
Authorities say Rawls and Phillips face termination. If convicted each could serve from 3-15 years in prison, and pay a $25,000 fine.
State Law 47-5-193 prohibits contraband in a correctional facility.