Following a similar law passed by the Senate, the House has voted to close a legal loophole that allows cell phones to reach federal prisoners. Legislators hope the move will block inmates from conducting criminal activity while locked up.
Currently, mobile devices aren't classified as contraband, allowing a highly lucrative smuggling trade to form in prisons across the country. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California claimed that illicit phones go for as much as $500 to $1000 in her state, and that one unscrupulous prison guard made $150,000 in one year off the cell trade alone.
On the other hand, Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia argues that phone smuggling is a reaction to the requirement that prisoners call their families collect, which is considerably more expensive than a cell phone plan.
At any rate, the vote will now allow for plenty of clever police one-liners, such as The only cell you're gonna be seeing is a prison cell, kid. Or at least that's what I would do if I were a cop. [Huffington Post]
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