68 handmade knives found during shakedown at Georgia prison

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. — Authorities found dozens of handmade weapons inside a Georgia prison that’s on lockdown.

Channel 2’s Mark Winne reported last week that eight Georgia prisons are on lockdown because of gang problems, including a homicide. Assistant Commissioner Tim Ward said he wants to send a message to gang members and others that, “We control the prisons. Not the gangs.”

During a shakedown at one of those prisons Tuesday, officers found 68 handmade knives along with other contraband.

Twenty-two tactical teams were called in for the search at Telfair State Prison.

Along with the knives, officers also found 19 pieces of metal that were being fashioned into some sort of weapon, a handful of cellphones and around 33 gallons of alcohol. The contraband was found in cells, laundry and a pipe chase, an enclosed space that hides pipes.

Warden Phil Hall says most of the inmates have the weapons for personal protection, which is also the reason he says many of them join a gang.

The prison remains locked down, which means food is delivered instead of eaten in the cafeteria, there is no recreational time, no visitation and no phone calls.