Experts say floss, or the plastic holder it sometimes comes in, has been used to strangle enemies, to escape, to saw through bars, to pick handcuffs, to make a hand grip on a shank and to hoist contraband from one level of cells to another.
"These inmates can make a weapon out of a chewing gum wrapper," said Steven Kayser, whose company sells a floss product advertised as prison-safe. "Floss is right up there on the danger list."
I remember the first time I saw someone list dental floss in their EDC and thinking it was some kind of joke. Given enough time and floss, even an 18 foot wall can't stand in your way:
In 1994, Robert Shepard used a floss rope braided as a telephone cord to scale an 18-foot wall at the South Central Regional Jail in West Virginia. He was on the lam for about five weeks. He was already being disciplined for scraping away the mortar between bricks in his cell.
One practical tip from the article: apparently the waxed stuff is the stronger variety. Good to know.