Cell Phones Banned In Prisons And Jails

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Personnel at Thomas County Prison say they discover about 26 cell phones a month.

Inmates hide the contraband anywhere, including inside soap bars, in air vents and inside pillows.

"A cell phone is probably up there in the top 3 most dangerous next to your knives and your drugs, cell phones can be used for escapes, can be used for introduction of drugs and weapons, solicitation of assault on other parties outside the institution," said Thomas County warden Robert Geer.

To get a firsthand look we brought our cameras inside the prison and within minutes, an inmate search produced two phones.

"After inspecting the boot I saw the liner was cut out, so I stuck my hand in there and felt a hard object, at first I pulled out a battery charger and after further investigation I pulled out a cell phone,"said Lieutenant Albert Manning.

But if those cell phones were found after July 1st they would carry a hefty consequence.

Governor Sonny Perdue signed a bill this week that makes possession of a telecommunications device by an inmate a crime.

More specifically it's a felony for felony offenders and a misdemeanor for misdemeanor offenders.

"The two that we found today, if it was July 1st or thereafter today they would be issued two felony warrants and would be taken to the courthouse to appear in front of the magistrate court for arraignment would be taken to Thomas county jail and could face 1 to 5 years extra in prison," said Robert Geer.

The warden says he hopes inmates pay close attention to the new law because a forty dollar cell phone is not worth an extra five years behind bars.