Prisoners are making rap videos and becoming social media celebrities by posting TikToks on illegal phones from inside their cells
- Prevalence of phones in prisons allows inmates to share videos with the outside
- Australian inmates are gaining notoriety with online profiles, raps and dances
- Videos from inside Australian jails have thousands of views on youth platforms
- The worrying trends mean young children are exposed to the content regularly
Australian prisoners are becoming social media celebrities by using smuggled phones to gain internet notoriety from behind bars.
The discovery prisoners are using social media within Australia’s prisons to share slices of their lives in jail with a young online audience online has sparked an investigation by Corrective Services NSW.
Inmates aren’t allowed to have nor use mobile phones in corrective centres across Australia, but that hasn’t stopped cons from posting to social media platforms such as TikTok.
Videos glorifying violence, crime and the prison life have been finding their way onto media feeds, alongside other seemingly innocuous rap and dance videos.
Prisoners can face extensions to their sentences up to two years if caught trying to take or smuggle phones into prison.
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Drill rapper ‘Snoee Badman’ used a smuggled prison phone and social media to grow an audience for his rapping while behind bars
Former wakeboarder Kyle Richardson had been using a contraband mobile phone to share TikTok dances with the outside world after he was imprisoned following a car accident that seriously injured his then 18-year-old girlfriend in 2020
Inmate Kyle Richardson, who has dubbed himself the ‘prince of Parklea’, amassed thousands of followers on TikTok by posting videos of himself dancing in his prison greens, reported the Daily Telegraph.
Kyle Richardson didn’t try to hide his identity nor surroundings in his viral videos, with his cell, uniform, tattoos and face all clearly visible.
The inmate racked up some 11,000 followers in a short space of time with his videos shown across 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 Corrective Services NSW confirmed the videos were known to them.
One of his videos was captioned: ‘When you see your mates out partying pulling 10s but you’ve gone away for abit (sic)’.
The 21-year-old ‘went away’ for a high-speed, MDMA-fuelled crash on Sydney’s M1 which seriously injured his then 18-year-old girlfriend in 2020.
Sharing TikTok dances in his prison greens and cell earned Kyle Richardson thousands of followers on social media, but his accounts have now disappeared
In his cell (pictured), Snoee Badman used voice recording applications and TikTok to produce and share his raps
Former prisoner and rapper Snoee Badman used a smuggled mobile phone to film himself rapping inside his prison cell.
One of the drill rapper’s videos, showing him performing in a Long Bay cell, clocked up 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 prison stint – and used a voice recording app to record an entire drill rap album.
Dogs and search teams are trained to sniff out mobile phones before an inmate enters jail, but many still make their way into the hands of prisoners.
Often smaller contraband phones are smuggled into prisons in the rectum, said a prison source.
The presence of mobile phones in jails across Australia endanger law enforcement officers, allow criminals to communicate and run illegal operations from behind bars and influence the nation’s youth online.
Corrective Services NSW have been trialling mobile phone signal jammers at Lithgow and Goulburn Correctional Centres, and continue to investigate how to best prevent phones from entering prison.
‘Corrective Services NSW takes a zero-tolerance approach to contraband and is at the forefront of developing and implementing technologies to combat the extraordinary lengths inmates go to smuggle contraband mobile phones,’ a Corrective Services spokeswoman said.
NSW Shadow Correctives Minister Tara Moriarty said more prisons needed to introduce mobile-jamming technology.
‘It’s ridiculous it hasn’t already been expanded,’ she told the Saturday Telegraph.
‘It’s one thing to be creating social media videos but what else are they doing with these phones.’