California prison inmates are using smart phones to text, surf the Web and post videos to YouTube, NPR reports. One inmate even shot and narrated a video on his cell phone camera while guards tried to put down a riot. The prisons say it’s dangerous because convicts can use the phones to stay in touch with other criminals. One correctional officer said a man recently tossed a football containing 27 cell phones and chargers into a prison.
One guard claimed he made $150,000 smuggling phones. Smuggling cell phones to convicts isn’t a crime. State Sen. Alex Padilla is proposing to fine cellphone smugglers up to $5,000 and give guilty inmates extra prison time. Padilla says the problem is “growing exponentially and bottom line is, every cell phone at the hands of a dangerous inmate is a crime waiting to happen.”