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Inmates busted with DIY computers in prison

Tech-savvy inmates create workable machines out of discarded parts and secretly connect to a law enforcement network.

Inmates stashed their do-it-yourself PCs above a ceiling panel.

Inmates stashed their do-it-yourself PCs above a ceiling panel.

Ohio Office of the Inspector General

If you're ever unfortunate enough to go to prison, you should hope it's a low-security institution like Ohio's Marion Correctional Institution, where enterprising inmates were able to build their own home-brew computers from discarded parts.

According to a report released this week by the Ohio Office of the Inspector General:

Marion Correctional Institution had discovered two unauthorized personal computers hidden on a plywood board in the ceiling above a closet in a training room. The two computers were connected to [the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's] computer network and were not owned by the State of Ohio.

The rogue computers were discovered in 2015, but the incident is only now coming to light, with the release of the report.

The report says that before being discovered, inmates used discarded computer parts to build working machines and were able to gain access to restricted areas and search the internet for information on making weapons. They also planned to steal another inmate's identity as part of a tax refund scheme.

A PDF of the full report is available here.