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Crafty Texas inmates had access to cable porn for months

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Anyone who's spent extended time behind bars, or watched one of those cable prison shows like Locked Up, knows that the old aphorism about necessity being the mother of invention is especially applicable to life in the penitentiary. And jail-house ingenuity was exhibited once again, as inmates at Liberty County Jail in Liberty, Texas were treated to softcore porn movies for a number of months, after unplugging cable boxes and attaching cable wires directly to TVs.

Going back to December of last year, and possibly earlier, inmates had gained access to premium programming on Cinemax, though it wasn't quite the stuff that ends up winning AVN awards. Still, according to one inmate, the nightly diet of porn was responsible for "a lot of fights." And another said the erotic fare "made the showers hell" post-viewing.

Where were the guards while this was going on, you ask? They were apparently aware of the "inappropriate programs" being viewed by inmates for months, even alluding to them in their nightly "hall logs." On February 3, one jailer wrote in his hall log, "4 Dorm watching porn channel again." On February 6, another jailer wrote, "One of the TV's had porn on it. Told them to change the channel." Captain Rex Evans of the Liberty County Sheriff's Office said, "That's just unacceptable in an incarcerated environment."

There is a bit of farce to the story. Liberty County claims they complained to Comcast, the facility's cable provider, for weeks, but weren't taken seriously. Captain Evans opined, "I believe that Comcast just couldn't believe that their system had been manipulated." A cable company blowing off law-enforcement officials? Doesn't sound sketchy at all.

Things finally came to a head after Liberty County Judge Craig McNair learned of the situation, grew "furious," and threatened Comcast with termination of all service if the problem wasn't resolved immediately. On February 7, engineers were finally sent to fix the problem, installing scramblers to block the adult content.

Some Liberty County residents understandably expressed their dismay over the whole fiasco, but jail leaders maintained that inmate trust-fund money paid the jail's monthly cable bill, not tax dollars. The real shame in all this is that inmates missed out on the premiere of Cinemax's new Friday night series, The Girl's Guide to Depravity.