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cellphone in prisons... Your thoughts?

* CBS News.com


Crimesider
December 3, 2010 3:19 PM
Charles Manson Sending Texts? Prison Officials Want to Jam Inmates' Calls
Posted by Edecio Martinez 3 comments

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Prison Officials Want to Jam Inmates' Calls

Charles Manson (AP Photo, file)

NEW YORK (CBS) California prison officials want to stop prison inmates like convicted murderer Charles Manson from reaching out and touching people with smuggled cell phones.

PICTURES: Murderer Posts Photos on Facebook from Prison

Prison guards confiscated the flip phone for the man behind one of the most infamous killing sprees in U.S. history after he placed calls and sent text messages to people in California, Florida, New Jersey and British Columbia, Canada, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

"It's troubling that he had a cell phone since he's a person who got other people to murder on his behalf," a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections told the Times.

The spokeswoman, Terry Thornton, also told the Times she didn't know if Manson ordered anyone during a call to commit a crime.

Authorities have urged the Federal Communications Commission to grant them authority to jam cell phone signals at prisons, but telecommunications lobbyists have told the agency that jamming would also block non-inmates near prisons from making calls.

Officials told the Times that prison inmates use the phones to run drug rings, intimidate witnesses and plan escapes yet being in possession of a cell phone isn't a crime in the Golden State.

President Barrack Obama signed into law during the summer a bill making smuggling cell phones into federal prisons a crime, but that law doesn't apply to state prisons, the Times reported. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill in September that would have fined people providing cell phones to prisoners $5,000, the Times reported.

In California prisons, authorities told the Times the number of cell phones confiscated has been on the rise from 1,400 in 2007, when confiscations were first recorded, to 8,675 thus far in 2010.

 
Aasiyah

Asked by Aasiyah at 3:04 AM on Dec. 5, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 16 (3,090 Credits)
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Answers (31)
  • Chances are it could be the CO's are compromised and the ones allowing the cell phones in.
    Mipsy

    Answer by Mipsy at 11:44 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Christ...we need more sheriff joes.I agree with Lori if any place should have body scans it should be the prisons/jails.
    tnmomofive

    Answer by tnmomofive at 7:50 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • I wouldn't allow tvs, radios, or computers inside a prison if it were up to me ~ and definitely no cell phones.

    Prison is supposed to be a place for punishment and a place that no one ever WANTS to go back to. Instead we have these places that look like hotel rooms with all the amenities ... with the exception of the bars on the windows. Most cater to inmates as far as menus, there are all sorts of recreational activities, college is encouraged, etc.

    The taxpayers foot the bill for this and a great many of them can't afford what they are forced to pay for for people who broke the law and who aren't contributing to society. It's one thing to pay to house dangerous people someplace where they can't cause more harm. It's another to pay for more comforts than those who obey the law can afford.
    Farmlady09

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 6:06 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • The article was about the problem with inmates sneaking them in and how dangerous it is.

    ***
    How are INMATES sneaking them in?! Wouldn't they be getting them via their VISITORS and MAIL?! To which I say, give guests and packages a "full body scan" prior to entering the building or the inmate receiving their mail!! :o)
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:38 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • I disagree with cell phones, internet use, and all of the other "perks" that prisoners get. Like Farmlady said, what's the big deal in going to prison if you're going to get to do some of things you would have been able to on "the outside?!" College degrees, working within the prison or on furloughs, working out in the prison gym, TV, etc.

    My take...if a Turkish prison wouldn't have it, then that's the model the US should be using! :o)
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 6:31 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Prisons should all be working prisons Musicmom, and I don't mean doing laundry or cooking. I mean people should be out plowing fields and baling hay and raising the food the prisoners eat ~ beFORE it gets cooked or they wash their clothes. No one should be sitting inside at all unless they are too sick to work that day. If they work well they should be given a credit towards medical care, new clothes when the old ones wear out, etc. There should be no freebies, no perks. It's prison.

    As for unruly prisoners needing a tv as a babysitter, what a crock. If they are out working they don't need a babysitter. If they won't work, or they get 'unruly' they should be tossed in a little dark hole until they are hungry enough to get back to work and behave.

    This isn't rocket science ... it's people who obviously made crappy career choices/can't figure out the rules and live by them. Bad choices should be punished, not rewarded.
    Farmlady09

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 8:21 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Musicmom, our prisons used to be far worse than anything I've described (re the chain gangs that LK mentions). Given the drippy heart club challenges of today (read bleeding heart liberals) I've been 'nice'.

    There is nothing wrong with teaching prisoners how to get up and go to work every morning to honestly EARN the things they want ~ or how to live without the other 'hobbies' that got them into prison in the first place. All that touchy-feel-good crud does NOT work. If it did, we wouldn't need motorized revolving doors on our prisons. Teach them life skills instead of patting them on the head and telling them that law abiding people are big meanie heads and how to sing kumbaya.

    It's people like you in charge of prisons ~ or butting in ~ that have created this problem. No wonder our prisons are full :-(
    Farmlady09

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 5:50 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Mason with a cell phone. I heard this yesterday. I'm just glad he didn't have a cell phone in 1970. Can you imagine the extra amount of havok he could have dreamed up if he were always connected?

    jesse123456

    Answer by jesse123456 at 9:21 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • umm, lol there was a guy who was updating his FB and putting pics from a jail cell. WTF
    DomoniqueWS

    Answer by DomoniqueWS at 3:06 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • I don't like it at all..Prison means no communication with the outside world unless you put your name on a list they can call..Imagine being a victim and recieving phone calls from the perpetrator....
    Kathy675

    Answer by Kathy675 at 3:21 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

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