You have all read the headlines about cell phones making their way into California’s prison system…oh wait you haven’t? Well here is a link to the
Google search where you can find over 200 articles on the subject. Long story short, thousands of mobile telecommunication devices are being smuggled into prisons where offenders are gaining access and communicating to the outside world. With today’s advanced mobile phone technology, prisoners can make calls, text, send and receive images and videos, even create social networking identifiers. Prisoners with cell phones have admitted to calling “shots” from prisons, contacting and intimidating victims, and even bridging communications between gang leaders and organizing prison riots.
These mobile devices are smuggled in by visitors and even prison guards employed by the state. Official reports show one cell phones can be “rented” by prisoners and passed around a prison and smugglers charge offenders thousands of dollars a day for the phone’s use. These smugglers are attempting to make a profit at the expense of public safety.
Simply put, the introduction of mobile phones and the inability of the Legislature and Governor to agree on a proper response weakens public safety and threatens a survivors recovery and feeling of security.
That is why the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault has joined with Senator Alex Padilla, correctional officers, District Attorneys, and other victim advocacy groups to support Senate Bill 26. This important legislation will prevent further mobile devices from entering our prison system and enact strict penalties on those who smuggle these devices into prisons.
CALCASA stood side-by-side with supporters and testified in front of the Senate Public Safety Committee to urge lawmakers to approve this measure. Through the leadership of Senator Padilla and SB 26’s broad coalition, the Committee approved the measure unanimously. The bill will proceed to the Senate Appropriations Committee to determine the cost to enforce these provisions should they become law.