South Carolina prisons install netting to prevent contraband

Prison officials in South Carolina say criminals are trying to find new ways to overcome netting that’s being put around facilities to prevent contraband from being thrown over the fences.

Corrections Department spokesman Dexter Lee told The State newspaper that agency police think some of those trying to get contraband into prisons are using potato guns to try to get drugs, tobacco and cellphones over the 50-foot-tall netting around prison fences.

Potato guns use pressurized gas or flammable gas to launch potato-sized objects over long distances.

But Lee says there have been no reported throw-overs at prisons that have the netting.

The corrections department has spent more than $8 million installing golf course-like netting around high security prisons in Dorchester, Greenville, Jasper, Lee, Marlboro, McCormick, Richland and Spartanburg counties.