We know the kind of thing that gets traded on the prison black market: weapons, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes. Now add cell phones to the list, Time reports: Authorities say there is an epidemic of smuggled cell phones, which have been used to orchestrate crimes, plot escapes, and harass witnesses, in addition to keeping in touch with friends and family. California authorities confiscated 2,800 phones last year, double the previous year’s number.
Prisons have resorted to phone-sniffing dogs, and Rep. Kevin Brady has introduced a bill to allow jails to jam signals. “Criminals are using cell phones even from Death Row to threaten victims and harass lawmakers," warns Brady. "Inmates are making literally thousands of calls from prison.”