Inspector General report finds Marion inmates pirated movies, accessed personal information, and built computers from spare parts

Inmates at Ohio’s Marion Correctional Institution assembled several dozen computers from various parts, pirated software and illegally copied movies to broadcast on the prison movie network, an investigation from the state inspector general has found.

The findings, released in a report Tuesday, stemmed from a previous 2017 investigation that found inmates hacked into the prison network, stole fellow prisoners’ personal information and applied for credit cards in their names.

Both investigations found inmates were allowed to refurbish computers, illegally download files and access data-wiping software as late as 2016. Inspector General Randall Meyer referred Tuesday’s report to the state auditor. The Ohio State Highway Patrol referred its investigation to the Marion County prosecutor for possible criminal charges.

The three employees mentioned in Tuesday’s report, including then-Warden Jason Bunting, are no longer employed by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, an agency spokeswoman said.

Inmates working for the Ohio Penal Industries’ Prison News Network told investigators in August 2016 they copied movies rented by prison employees to computers, according to the report. The movies were then shown on the prison movie channel, which violated copyright law and the prison’s contracts with two film distributing companies.

Cleveland nonprofit RET3 had contracted with Marion Correctional to disassemble and recycle donated computers. A former inmate who worked for RET3 after leaving prison smuggled a one-terabyte hard drive into the prison through an IT worker named Carl “Gene” Brady, according to the report.

The hard drive was stored in a printer in the Ohio Penal Industries area. State investigators found illegal software on the hard drive, as well as photos and videos.

Inmates told investigators that Brady and other prison staff allowed them to rebuild computers, which contained personal information of the devices’ previous owners.

You can read the entire report by clicking here.

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