PHOENIX -- It's a shakedown at the 4th Avenue Jail.
“They're probably passing stuff back and forth,” said one of the correctional officers. “So we go and get that cell, they're passing to this side, we go and get that side, then they're passing to this side.”
Since inmates have a lot of time on their hands, what's found during the search can either be creative or deadly.
“What they do is they lengthen them out, cause we only give them the golf size pencils and so they lengthen them out so they can use them for other things,” said another correctional officer while looking at an eight inch weapon made from a pencil.
According to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, shakedowns aren't planned or scheduled. In this case, he said mounting racial tension between the black and the Hispanic inmates prompted Saturday's massive search.
“We just came up with some of these shanks, six or seven of them, probably six to nine inches, so we had to do something,” said Sheriff Arpaio.