Shasta County Jail security measures deter inmate scammers

Aug 21, 2014 7:55 PM

Recently, we told you about several phone scams out of the prison system that hit the North State -- and the rest of the country.
Some of the cases involved correctional officers who were in on the scheme, but that type of activity won't stand a chance at the Shasta County Jail.

The latest phone scam came out of a prison in Georgia, from an area that had minimal security -- but the Shasta County Jail runs a tight ship, with heavy surveillance all around the premises.

Phone scams are possibly the easiest way crooks can empty your pockets -- but just how can these criminals pull such a scheme from jail?

"The primary motive would be money -- they find ways to use certain employees who would be willing to do so."

It starts with the inmate manipulating the employee with a little sweet talk.

"It's fail won't get in trouble...we're not gonna get with that in mind, some people take the bait."

But the phone system at the Shasta County Jail makes it so there's no way anyone could even try.

"Several employees would have to know about that person making a call..."

Anytime an inmate wants to make a phone call, they're monitored from the booking area and watch commander's office -- making it virtually impossible to pull anything shady.

"The corrections officer would request permission to have the inmate come down to booking...they would have to ask ask the sergeant on duty before the request is granted."

Lieutenant Kent says only under extremely special circumstances could an inmate use a landline phone, which would also require approval from multiple administrative employees.

That clearly wasn't the case at Autry State Prison.

"The corrections officer working with the inmate may have had more leeway and access to landline phones."

All outgoing phone calls from the Shasta County Jail are recorded -- they're also collect calls -- which is a dead giveaway the number isn't coming from a legitimate law enforcement agency.


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