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A prison work program in Ohio is in the spotlight after two inmates built computers from PCs they were supposed to be recycling and hid them in a training room ceiling.

According to a report from Ohio’s Office of the Inspector General prisoners at the Marion Correctional Institution (MCI) in Marion, OH were supposed to dismantle the used computers for recycling. Instead they built the computers and loaded them with various software, porn and articles on making explosives.

The incident occurred in 2015, but has only just been made public in recent days.

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The clandestine device was discovered after large and unusual amounts of Internet activity were flagged by the prison’s IT staff.

After investigating the activity, which saw a user try to access a file-sharing site that had been blocked by the server, an IT staff member and two inmates found a network cable in the ceiling of a training room.

“The two computers were connected to [Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction]’s computer network and were not owned by the State of Ohio,” the report said.

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The alert was triggered after the credentials of a contractor not scheduled to work that day were used on the computer in question. 

MCI, which houses approximately 2,500 inmates, runs several programs to give back to the community, including the MCI Green Initiative, where it works on its conservation efforts and other green practices.

MCI has not yet responded to a request for comment on this story.

 



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