CORINTH, Miss. (WTVA) -- How do you keep inmates behind bars? An escape at a Corinth correctional facility six months ago ended up sending officials back to the drawing board.
"Anytime something like that happens, of course, we look at our policy and procedure, where we often copy [the Mississippi Department of Corrections] policy and procedure," Alcorn County Regional Correctional Facility Warden Doug Mullins said.
A new camera which monitors the recreation yard has been added. In addition, Mullins hired a chief of security with previous correctional facility experience.
They also addressed what Mullins said was the biggest contributing factor to February's escape: the delivery gate, which was open that morning.
"We have put a walkthrough gate that we keep locked until we have to go in and out of it," Mullins said.
That means the delivery gate will be open less often.
February's escape also drew attention to another problem behind bars both in Corinth and across the nation: illegal cell phones.
"We have to combat that. We have to screen people and objects coming in rigorously," security chief Keith Latch said. "[We search] mail, everything like that. Once we catch it, they think of another way, and we've gotta learn how they're doing that. It's a constant process."
Mullins confirmed a contraband cell phone was used by Kendrick Davis, one of the two men who broke out in February. Davis allegedly assaulted a woman who lived nearby, but first threatened her through text messages before his escape.
Davis wrote various explicit remarks to the unidentified woman before sending a final message: "Text me back. I'm about to take it to the next level." Hours later, he had escaped and was inside her home.
"There are certain people [inmates] cannot communicate with," Latch said. "When you put a cell phone in the equation, that defeats all that."
Mullins said the recent budgetary problems with the facility also make it harder to fund some security upgrades, but they've been able to implement what they need to be safe.
Officials said they hold random jail cell searches to find contraband phones.
In one week alone, guards discovered 15 within inmates' living areas.