Apparently, with the explosion of Smartphone technology, inmates have gotten their hands on cell phones through a variety of ways, allowing them to use these devices to “commit more crimes, organize assaults on staff members and terrorize victims.” Plus, they have discovered that inmates set up email, Facebook and Twitter accounts to communicate with the outside world, as well as each other, internally.
Now the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has taken a stand and signed a pact to block cell phones from prisons and make inmates use payphones provided by Global Tel Links. Inmates will be required to use this company’s service to make all calls from the prison’s authorized telephone systems only.
It’s been reported that in 2007 California prisons confiscated 1,400 cell phones, and that in 2011 the number grew to more than 15,000! So far in 2012 they have found 2,181 contraband phones. The system was tested in two prisons last year for 11-days at eight hours a day, and they found that it blocked more than 25,000 unauthorized cell signals. Introducing this new technology to the California prison system will crack down on potentially dangerous communications by inmates overall.
By the end of this year, the plan is to roll out the phone-blocking technology at the California State Prison in Solano, and in all other prisons within the next three years.
Up till now, some state prisons have used cell phone-sniffing dogs to search for these devices, and last year, new legislation made it a misdemeanor to smuggle cell phones into prisons and will slap offenders with a fine of up to $5,000. Unless visitors and staffers have this kind of money lying around, I’d say they need to stop this practice because you will not get away with it any longer.
When the Internet was introduced we thought it was invasive when we started to see more crimes of identity theft, sexual harassment and bullying, but it looks like Smartphone technology may have taken over. Criminals serving sentences in any prison should not have the privilege of using this technology. It’s disruptive and takes away control over inmate’s behavior. Anyone smuggling in or selling cell phones to inmates should be aware that they can be charged with a misdemeanor if caught.
Do you think Big Brother is watching us? Somewhere in the not so distant future, we may see everyone wearing some sort of uniform and ‘fashionistas’ will be no longer.
What is your opinion?