The illegal cell phone problem still is plaguing prisons, with inmates using them to threaten victims, conduct drug deals, plot escape, and seek legal help, reports USA Today. The phones, most operating on prepaid accounts bought by relatives and friends, often are not caught in searches at visitor entries. “States are struggling with this,” says Eric Schultz of the American Correctional Association.
In South Carolina, more than 1,000 phones were confiscated last year. Florida officials seized 336 phones last year, many from violent inmates. California cellphone seizures in 2008 have topped the 1,400 confiscated in 2007. Federal law may help inmates by prohibiting the jamming gear that blocks calls. South Carolina authorities planned to test that law today by hosting a jamming-technology demo. The Austin American-Statesman reported today that another cell phone charger and SIM card that allows a cell phone to make calls were found on Texas' death row yesterday, the latest discoveries after weeks of similar finds.