Music video recorded inside Macomb County prison raises safety concerns

Amid spiking COVID-19 infections, prisons turning to solitary confinement to reduce spread of virus
Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-29 21:39:54-05

LENOX TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Two prisoners will likely spend more time behind bars after recording a rap music video inside a Macomb County prison that was posted online.

Prisoners are not allowed to have cell phones in prison for several reasons. In fact, a cell phone behind bars can be downright dangerous, which is concerning to prison officials.

“They can do a lot of damage. They can organize hits on staff or prisoners. They could help effectuate an escape attempt,” said Chris Gautz with the Michigan Department of Corrections.

An inmate could also use a contraband cell phone to harass victims and witnesses. That's why prison guards search for them and everything else considered illegal in lockup.

Just last week as guards were conducting a cell search, they found a piece of paper with a YouTube link scribbled on it. When they went to check it out, they discovered two inmates had made a rap video using two cell phones.

“This was very brazen because they again, they made no attempt to hide who they were and put it out there for the world to see,” Gautz said.

That was helpful in identifying the inmates who have now been removed from the general population as Michigan State Police investigate the case that could end in more time behind bars for the two inmates.

One is serving time for armed robbery and possessing contraband in prison. The other is doing time for second-degree murder.

Prison officials were still searching for the two phones as of Tuesday.

“As well as talking with the prisoners and others involved to try to determine how, in fact, they got their hands on those, so that we can cut that source off as well,” Gautz said.