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Tipsheet

A Philly Corrections Officer Helped Run a Crime Ring From Jail, Grand Jury Claims

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A corrections officer in a Philadelphia prison was arrested as part of a smuggling and bribery operation run by an inmate, according to a grand jury presentment unveiled last week.

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Correctional Officer Khalif Workman, 30, was accused of taking more than $23,000 in bribes over the course of two months in 2021 in return for helping a prisoner named Barry “Bones” Garland” run a “criminal enterprise” from the Riverside Correctional Facility, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Reportedly, Garland was able to obtain drugs, cell phones and direct the delivery of an AR-15 rifle to someone “looking to avenge a murder” by placing an order with Workman, who went by the code name “Pizza Man.” Workman, Garland, and another alleged conspirator were arrested on corrupt organization charges. The District Attorney’s office reportedly said that warrants have been issued for others and some remain under investigation. 

Fox 29 reported that Garland used the Cash App on a contraband cell phone to purchase the AR-15 and that it was meant to be used to kill someone that murdered his friend.  

Last year, another correctional officer, Haneef Lawton, was arrested for smuggling drugs and phones into jails. He pleaded guilty in federal court. This occurred around the time that an expert was brought in as part of a federal class-action lawsuit filed by a prisoners’ rights group that found that “understaffing and lax enforcement” allowed contraband to “flow freely” through the jails, the Inquirer reported.

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Reportedly, the expert found that workers conducted 40,000 cell searches in 2019. In 2021, they did just 2,000, and found five times more contraband. Reportedly, 18 people incarcerated at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons died, including four by drug overdose and three by homicide. This year, nine more have died. 

In October 2021, a correctional officer, acting on a tip, found contraband in Garland’s cell. Workman quit his job days later.

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons told the Inquirer that the jails will use new technology, like “state-of-the-art mail scanning” and “body scanning” for inmates. 

David Robinson, the president of the correctional officers’ union, told the Inquirer that he was not aware of Workman’s arrest. Robinson said that it’s “dangerous” and that “there’s still blocks that are unmanned at times because there’s no staff.”


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