Australian prisoners are becoming social media celebrities using contraband phones to gain internet notoriety behind bars.
Discovery prisoners are using social media in Australian prisons to share slices of their life in prison with young online audiences has sparked an investigation by Corrective Services NSW.
Inmates are not allowed to have or use mobile phones in correctional centers across Australia, but that hasn’t stopped the inconvenience of posting on social media platforms such as TikTok.
Videos glorifying violence, crime and prison life have found their way into the media, alongside other seemingly innocuous rap and dance videos.
Prisoners can face extensions of their sentences of up to two years if they are caught trying to take or smuggle phones in prison.
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Drill rapper ‘Snoee Badman’ used a contraband prison phone and social media to grow a following for his rap while behind bars
Former wakeboarder Kyle Richardson had used a contraband cellphone to share TikTok dances with the outside world after being jailed following a car crash that seriously injured his then 18-year-old girlfriend in 2020
Inmate Kyle Richardson, who has dubbed himself the ‘Prince of Parklea’, has amassed thousands of followers on TikTok by posting videos of himself dancing in his prison gardens, the Daily Telegraph has reported. .
Kyle Richardson hasn’t tried to hide his identity or surroundings in his viral videos, with his cell, uniform, tattoos and face clearly visible.
The inmate has racked up some 11,000 subscribers in a short time with his videos playing on hundreds of thousands of phone screens.
He has also been active on other social media accounts while in prison.
His account has now been deleted after NSW Remedial Services confirmed the videos were known to them.
One of his videos was captioned: “When you see your homies partying up shooting 10s but you’re kinda gone (sic)”.
The 21-year-old ‘left’ for an MDMA-fueled high-speed accident on Sydney’s M1 which seriously injured his then 18-year-old girlfriend in 2020.
Sharing TikTok dances in his jail greens and cell earned Kyle Richardson thousands of social media followers, but his accounts are now gone
In his cell (pictured), Snoee Badman used voice recording apps and TikTok to produce and share his raps
Former prisoner and rapper Snoee Badman used a contraband cellphone to film himself rapping in his jail cell.
One of the drill rapper’s videos, showing him performing in a cell in Long Bay, has garnered more than 62,000 views on TikTok.
Another titled “Bars Behind Bars” has 42,000 views.
Speaking to a podcast, the rapper said he had a few phones during his ‘brick’ – a 10-year stint in prison – and used a voice recording app to record a whole drill album rap.
Search dogs and teams are trained to detect cell phones before an inmate enters prison, but many still end up in the hands of prisoners.
Often, smaller contraband phones are smuggled into prisons from the rectum, a prison source said.
The presence of cellphones in prisons across Australia endangers law enforcement, enables criminals to communicate and conduct illegal operations behind bars, and influence the nation’s youth online.
New South Wales Remedial Services have been testing mobile phone signal jammers at Lithgow and Goulburn Correctional Centers and are continuing to investigate how best to keep phones out of jail.
“Corrective Services NSW takes a zero tolerance approach to contraband and is at the forefront of developing and implementing technology to combat the extraordinary efforts by inmates to smuggle cell phone smuggling,” a Remedial Services spokeswoman said.
NSW Shadow Correctives Minister Tara Moriarty said more prisons need to introduce mobile jamming technology.
“It’s ridiculous that it hasn’t been enlarged yet,” she told the Saturday Telegraph.
“It’s one thing to create videos on social media, but what else are they doing with these phones.”