Random staff searches to attack the smuggling of cell phones into California state prisons are drawing objections from the powerful union representing correctional officers, reports California Watch. At issue is a two-year program called Operation Disconnect that requires all adult prisons to conduct monthly searches of employees and others as they enter state facilities.
Fewer than 500 cell phones have been confiscated, though some legislators suspect prison employees are the main suppliers of phones that are reaching inmates in larger numbers. Joe Baumann of the California Correctional Peace Officers Assocition said the modest results suggest the program is targeting the wrong people. Baumann said the union has complained that the searches are misguided and overly intrusive. “There are no boundaries as far as how invasive the searches are,” he said. “People have had to take off jumpsuits, pull off vests, pull up T-shirts. They're setting themselves up for litigation with the way they're doing this.”