In March 2014, WorldStarHipHop posted a music video created by seven inmates in a South Carolina prison.
When the video went viral, the South Carolina Department of Corrections launched an investigation into the matter.
This week, the inmates were sentenced to a combined total of almost 20 years in solitary confinement.
Records of the investigation, obtained by Electronic Frontier Foundation Investigative Researcher David Maass, reveal a breakdown of the punishments given to each inmate for their infractions.
All seven inmates who participated in the filming of the music video were sentenced to a minimum of 180 days in "disciplinary detention." Two of the inmates also received 270 and 360 days of additional punishments for "creating or assisting in a social media site."
The inmates were also sentenced to a combined 7,160 days in solitary confinement, nearly 20 years, for "security threat group" materials, otherwise known as gang-related materials, and for possessing contraband in the form of a cellular phone.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, SCDC Spokesperson Stephanie Givens said,
Their placement is not just tied to that rap video. It's the fact that they are gang members and a continued threat to safety.
The men in the video are each serving time for serious crimes including voluntary manslaughter and armed robbery.
In addition to the punishments listed above, the inmates lost privileges such as phone and visitation rights and access to the canteen.
The results of the investigation leave a couple questions unanswered: 1) Does such an infraction warrant a punishment as harsh as years in solitary confinement? 2) How fire was that track?
Citations: South Carolina Inmates Slammed With Years in Solitary Confinement After Prison-Filmed Music Video Goes Viral (Complex), These Inmates Got Years In Solitary Confinement For Making A Music Video (BuzzFeed)