Twenty California prison employees suspected of smuggling cellphones to inmates have resigned or were fired in recent months, reports the Los Angeles Times. Most of those employees were accused of taking the phones in for cash, while others were suspected of doing it for love or something like it, said a state inspector general’s report.
One inmate caught with a phone had text messages and nude photos sent by a female guard. Another inmate was caught with love letters and a childhood photo from a guard accused of providing him the phone. The proliferation of cellphones in prisons is a significant public safety concern. Inmates have run street gangs from behind bars, intimidated witnesses and orchestrated assaults on guards. The report by the prison agency’s Office of the Inspector General identified 419 cases of serious rules violations monitored in the first six months of this year.