Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Charles Manson is calling

The most notorious inmate caught with a cell phone is Charles Manson. He was caught with a flip phone back in March 2009, then again this past January with yet another cell.
State Sen. Alex Padilla is making his third attempt to criminalize contraband cell phones. He wants smugglers to be fined $5,000 and inmates to get extra prison time. "Clearly the problem is growing," he says. "It's growing exponentially and bottom line is, every cell phone at the hands of a dangerous inmate is a crime waiting to happen."
But Padilla faces an uphill battle getting any stiffer penalties, since the state's prisons are jammed and some lawmakers say California can't afford to lock up more people.
Economics suggests a solution: Soften penalties for infractions of other kinds. Then you can criminalize cell phones in the hands of inmates without locking up more people.



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