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Videos claim to show inmates on K2

Two former inmates have ideas on why Arkansas inmates are using K2 and what needs to happen to keep it out.

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) –

Dramatic cell phone video claims to show the impact that the synthetic drug K2 is having on Arkansas inmates.

We reported Tuesday that K2 is suspected in the deaths of 16 prisoners during a 14 month period.

Tonight….an inside look at how the drug is affects users.

The source of these video clips says they were taken with a cell phone inside an Arkansas prison within the past two weeks.

K2 incidents are dramatically up at almost every Arkansas prison this year. So are K2 deaths.

We showed two former inmates these video clips shared exclusively with KATV and asked them how the drug is getting in.

"What was your experience? How did it get in?"

"Officers bringing it in,” says one inmate who did twenty years. “It depends on what unit you were at. They could bring it in in one of the ADC vehicles. If you had it inside maintenance it could go to maintenance. Then from maintenance it would go to the inmates and from there it would go to the barracks."

That inmate did not want his identity revealed.

Reginald Thurman did not mind. Thurman did seven years.

Both men agree that the answer to cleaning up contraband in the prisons has to do more with prosecution then prevention.

"We're talking about K2, right?” asks Thurman rhetorically. “Which is a synthetic drug. It's still a drug. Me myself...I was prosecuted for manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance. That's what I went to prison for. That is delivery of a controlled substance. Why are they not prosecuted? Why are they not put in prison? It's the same thing And now look at the epidemic that you have with these inmates that they got going on right now. People are losing their lives. People are hallucinating. Health is at risk. I mean...it's the same thing as the Class Y Felony that I was prosecuted for."

Both men have been out for two years so both missed the height of the recent K2 epidemic.

When asked why inmates are trying this dangerous drug...both cited depression and lack of hope or purpose caused by incarceration and unfair discipline.

15 correctional officers have been fired over the past year for bringing contraband into Arkansas prisons.

We asked if anyone has been prosecuted for bringing in drugs and were told only that the ADC will advocate for prosecution.

Air date: November 16th, 2017

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