Legislation aimed at cracking down on contraband cell phones in prisons is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.
Under Senate Bill 26, by Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla, any person caught smuggling a cell phone or wireless device into a prison could face six months in jail and fines of up to $5,000 per device. The bill also increases penalties for inmates caught with the devices and includes provisions to support the implementation of new technology to block unauthorized calls, texts and emails sent and received within prison confines.
"Cell phones in the hands of inmates are a clear and present threat to the safety of correctional officers, victims, and the public," Padilla said in a statement. "We know that inmates with cell phones are ordering murders, organizing escapes, facilitating drug deals, controlling street gangs and terrorizing rape victims. With this bill we will finally crack down on cell phones in California prisons."
The bill, which cleared the Senate on a unanimous 40-0 vote, will take effect immediately if signed into law by Brown.