In our 5th installment of the ‘Party In Prison’ investigation, we hope to provide some insight into how guards/correctional officers, who are not state of Tennessee employees, have direct access to inmates in TN State prisons, and have direct links to current inmates on social media – often even the first person that is ‘friended’ on brand new social media accounts when they are created on a newly acquired cell phone by an inmate. Let’s look at an example, and you can decide if hiring 3rd party contractors to act as state correctional officers is beneficial, or if they are not held to the same standards as state employees, or subjected to the same rules and oath to uphold their duties. It is only logical that someone that isn’t paid by the state wouldn’t have the same obligation to their role as an officer. This was confirmed by many G4S employees that we spoke to, who admitted they were not only paid nearly twice what state employees were, but they had no commitment to the state or any received any benefit from reporting instances of inmate misconduct, as they reported to G4S and not the state. Several G4S employees stated to us they viewed it as a party at work, getting paid twice the amount of their co-workers, and basically doing hardly any actual work.
From our investigation, we have learned that the state sometimes uses third-party private contractors, such as G4S, to assist in staffing state prisons. In general these assignments do not last more than 90 days for any individual person, so they may fill in at many prisons in a years time, if they are willing to travel. We’ve seen that very thing with some of our research, including one particular G4S employee that did just that, and is friends with many TN State prisoners across the state. While we can’t prove that Hamilton played any direct role in helping any of these inmates acquire or use cell phones and social media behind bars, we can prove that she was among the very first people they added every time they got a new cell phone and social media profile. We hope the state, or G4S, will now have enough information to investigate going forward.
Do you remember Kartavious Carwell, who we have featured a few times recently? He recently re-appeared on facebook with not one, but two brand new cell phones. Would you like to know who was one of the very first people he became ‘friends’ with on the newly created facebook account? None other than G4S Employee Toshana Hamilton. And this wasn’t the first time – on his previous account, created with a prior cell phone, once again, one of the very first friend requests made and accepted was to G4S Employee (and fill in correctional officer for the State of TN) Toshana Hamilton.
Here is Carwell’s brand new account which was created with a new cell phone, of which he shows off two in his live videos from his jail cell:
Here is the account he used to post from in April, before that phone was confiscated, per his own accounts:
Here is Toshana Hamilton’s Facebook profile, showing her job as a security officer at G4S:
Hamilton is friends with another inmate at WTSP, Patrick G Cathey, who also actively posts on social media from within jail.
Remember Nolan Jackson, that also continues to post from a TN Prison – Hamilton is also friends with him on social media. Is it a coincidence that she became friends with him on social media days after he got a brand new phone and started posting again?
- Party in Prison I: T.D.OC. Inmates on Social Media from Prison (Again): Meet Lance Matlock & Brandon Watson
- Party in Prison II: TDOC Inmates with Cellphones, Drugs, Videos & Social Media
- Party in Prison III: Inmate Kortavious Carwell Issues Challenge with Two New Cell Phones
- Party In Prison IV: Friends in High Places; Guards as Friends on Social Media
Once could be a coincidence, but the likelihood of a correctional officer, even a 3rd party contractor, being friends with dozens of inmates, is rare, and this is the second one we’ve found just this week. You be the judge – is this contributing to how phones are making into Tennessee Prisons?