AP — The nation’s largest state prison system is turning to electronic weaponry to combat the persistent headache of illegal cellphones smuggled to inmates.
Final testing starts next week at the first of two Texas Department of Criminal Justice prisons where equipment has been installed to block calls to and from unauthorized phones.
The equipment, known as a managed access system, also diverts text messages, emails and Internet log-in attempts from contraband phones. It should be in full operation at the Stiles Unit outside Beaumont and the McConnell Unit near Beeville next month. The two prisons together hold some 5,000 inmates and historically have been the worst of the more than 100 Texas prisons when it comes to cellphone smuggling.
The goal is to make cellphones useless, or at least not worth the risk of extended prison time or reduced privileges, said Michael Roesler, senior warden at the Stiles Unit.
“If the cellphone becomes the proverbial paperweight, the reward of taking a chance of losing their good time, their status, their class, their parole possibility, is too great a risk for them to hang on to,” he said. continue reading...