The dangers of prisoners having contraband cell phones while behind bars has come to the attention of many federal officials.
The article that you ran on Oct. 27 mentions that the FCC chairman would like to arrange a meeting with numerous groups within the next 120 days to discuss this problem. At that meeting they will set a deadline for resolving the best way to prevent prisoners from using contraband cell phones. After that meeting, he will report the recommendations to Congress.
Then what? Maybe Congress will set a date to meet another 120 days down the road to discuss these recommendations.
Why not do it this way at the state level? Forget about the feds and their meetings. Gov. Henry McMaster and Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling should petition the state legislature to enact a law that would make it a felony for any prisoner to possess a cell phone while incarcerated.
If caught and convicted, an additional 10 years should be added to the sentence that they were then serving. Any Department of Correction employee, vendor or visitor to the jail who supplies a prisoner with a cell phone should serve 10 years in prison if convicted.
Then allow the prisoners a one-time chance to surrender their contraband phones with no penalty. Once this is complete, sweep the prison to recover what may be left.
This effort by the state of South Carolina should go a long way into correcting the contraband cell phone problem.
Howard D. Sassman