Cell Phones in Prison

Serial Killer Charles Manson made cell phone calls, sent texts from jail: report
BY NINA MANDELL
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, December 4th 2010, 4:00 AM
Notorious murderer Charles Manson was caught yakking it up on a cell phone while in prison.
Manson reportedly made calls and sent texts to people in California, New Jersey, Florida and British Columbia until prison officials confiscated the phone, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
While it is illegal to have a cell phone in prison – people who smuggle them in face up to a year in prison under a law President Obama signed over the summer – it’s reportedly a widespread problem throughout the U.S. prison system.
• According to the newspaper, California prison guards found 8,675 cell phones so far this year – up from 1,400 in 2007.
• “It’s troubling that he had a cell phone since he’s a person who got other people to murder on his behalf,” a California Department of Corrections spokesperson told the Times.
• Manson, 76, convinced his followers to kill seven people in 1969.
• That revelation comes after the widow of a Pawnee County, Oklahoma sheriff spoke out after her late husband’s killer, Justin Walker, posted pictures of himself partying behind bars on Facebook.
• “The most disturbing thing is how grotesque they are,” Karen Woodrell told The Oklahoman. “You think when they go to prison their life will be hard, and it’s not.”
• Walker was later found to have a cell phone, weed and homemade bong in his cell, according to the report.
• “Cell phones make it easier for them to get more contraband in and move things around,” Oklahoma Corrections Department spokesman Jerry Massie told the paper.
Many prisoner advocates argue that cell phones should be available to prisoners to allow their families to avoid the high cost of collect calls from prison cell phones. But Lynn Powell, president of the Oklahoma chapter of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), an advocacy group for inmates and their loved ones, said the phones were a problem for inmates.
• “This insults the victim’s family but also the other inmates that are in doing what they are supposed to be,” she told The Oklahoman. “Their families will also suffer repercussions when their units are locked down because of this.”
• nmandell@nydailynews.com

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