Jam Cell Phones Now
by Kelvin Wade
Nearly 11,000 cell phones were confiscated in California prisons last year. The surprising thing is that there is no law against smuggling cell phones into prison. A lawmaker is busy trying to remedy that while the California Department of Corrections is trying to crackdown on a problem that is affecting prisons nationwide.
Last year, killer cult leader Charles Manson was found with a cell phone. And last month, authorities found a second cell phone in Manson’s cell. He’d made calls to six states. Who was Manson talking to? Who has Charlie Manson on speed dial?
It’s a serious problem because inmates can order murders, direct witness intimidation, coordinate drug deals, arrange for escape or commit other crimes. Death row inmates in Texas used a smuggled cell phone to threaten public officials.
I guess they could also order pizza. I can imagine a Dominos guy rolling up to San Quentin saying, “I’ve got a double cheese and sausage for Cell 242, cell block D.”
The majority of phones are obviously smuggled in by correctional officers who sell them for up to $1,000 per phone to inmates. Prison guards aren’t subject to metal detectors or searches like visitors are.
Still, some have arrived secreted in body cavities. It gives the Blackberry nickname “Crackberry” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?
So the California Department of Corrections is testing technology that would enable them to block cell phone calls and enable authorized cell phone use (which obviously, would be staff use).
It’s not just prisons but society as a whole that needs to implement cell phone jamming. The technology is commercially available. All we have to do is shelve a pesky federal law that prohibits cell phone jamming and we can remedy the problem of inappropriate cell phone use.
Now I’m not talking about grocery stores. Even though you may overhear some truly inane conversations, the grocery store is an ideal location for cell phone usage. Women can sit in the comfort of their homes and pilot their husbands around in a store as if by remote control with a cell phone. “Yeah, we need Dijon Mustard. Next aisle, honey.”
But shouldn’t schools be able to jam cell phones? Teachers are trying to teach while kids are texting and using Google to cheat. Shouldn’t teachers be able to flip a switch in their classroom and end Facebook and Myspace status updates in mid-text?
Shouldn’t movie theaters be able to jam signals so we won’t have to worry about people taking calls, texting or forgetting to turn their ringers off?
My younger brother is a minister. I’m sure he’d like to be able to flip a switch so that the 21st century doesn’t intrude on his 1st century gospel sermon.
Libraries are another place that should be cell phone free. When I’m engrossed in Huck Finn (complete with N-word) in the library, I don’t want to be jarred out of the text by Lady Gaga warbling about Paparazzi or your cell phone vibrating like you’ve got a bumblebee in a Sucrets tin.
Make cell phone callers have to go outside like cigarette smokers. Imagine walking up to an expensive, romantic restaurant and seeing a huddle of people making cell phone calls outside because they know that once they go in and sit down for their appetizer, the answer to Verizon’s too-often-asked question is “Heck no, I can’t hear you now.” Pure bliss.
There’s a Japanese company that makes paint with copper particles in it that they claim blocks 97% of cell phone signals. Ship that paint to Lowe’s so we can get this cell phone shutdown revolution started.
Don’t try to tell me that you need access for emergencies. You’re not a neurosurgeon. You just want to Tweet, text, update your status or call one of your dorky friends and say, “Dude, what are ya doing?” That can wait.
Jam cell phones now! Start with the prisons but roll it out for all of us.