You Don’t Want to Know How iPhones Make Their Way into Prisons

By , Oct 26, 2011

Over the last few weeks, Gizmodo has been doing an interesting series of articles entitled “Lockdown.” The installment takes a look at technology behind bars from within the San Quentin State Prison in California.

The latest episode of Lockdown focuses on smartphones. Yes, the craze that has been sweeping the nation has also taken the country’s correctional facilities by storm. And you don’t want to know how these things get inside the prison walls…

Apparently smartphones are a hot commodity in prison, bringing in anywhere between $600 to $800. Inmates not only use them for communication to the outside world, but also for taking pictures of foes, and yes, looking at pornography.

Perhaps most interesting (or disgusting rather), is the way that these cellphones make it into the correctional facilities. First they have to make it into prisoners hands, so the device needs to be dropped off by an accessory:

“Drops can work in a number of ways. For example, there’s a bathroom just outside of the main San Quentin gates which is open to the public and is a big draw for tourists. Inmate work crews clean these bathrooms every day. An inmate’s associate on the outside will have taped a package (of phones, drugs, tobacco, etc.) to the back of the women’s toilet, for example. When the inmates come to clean, they toss it in with the rest of the trash, then sort through it later. Then, when nobody’s looking, whoop, up the butt it goes. They are usually prepackaged in latex gloves or condoms for easier insertion. Ow.”

Ow indeed. The San Quentin guards have confiscated several handsets, from iPhones to (gulp) BlackBerry Storms, and even large-screened Android phones like the Samsung Captivate pictured above.

What’s worse is that they say the prisoners will walk around with these devices in their bums for hours to keep them from getting discovered. The guards even find inmates sleeping with them inside their body cavities from time-to-time. Wow.

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  • Justin

    I’m glad I bought mine new.

    • Frank


  • Mark

    Great title!

  • Mrtwit21

    I wonder if the ip4 will get a signal up there lol

    • ReanimationXP

      Not to mention they’re forced to keep it on vibrate hahaha

      • Steve

        +1 ahahahahaha

      • Jose


  • Eric

    Talk about a death grip! Lol

    • Nabeel

      Haha good one Eric .

  • MALdito

    “I said what what, in the butt? I said what what, in the butt?” LMAO!

  • iPhoneology

    What is that brown stain around the earpiece on the ip4?


    • sOlefresh

      Lol; it’s just cause the screen is cracked

  • Phil Dot Com

    Shit stain on the earpiece… How unhygenic.

  • CrazyBraulz

    Im glad I didn’t have to sleep with my iP4 up my rectum… Lol I would have missed a lot of calls, I sure wouldn’t lose signal if I had an iP4S 😀

  • nomeacuerdo

    Imagine how much will they pay for a Playstation 3.

    • nickguitarguy


  • Martin

    “Siri, where have you been all day?”

    “Don’t ask :-(“

    • rajesh


  • Johnny

    I guess the screen size makes a difference when you put a samsung galaxy s2 in your ass and a iphone 4 …. Not to mention a playstation 3 …. like someone said above :)

  • Johnny

    I guess the screen size makes a difference when you put a samsung galaxy s2 in your ass and a iphone 4 …. Not to mention a playstation 3

  • Daniel K

    how do they charge them,,, actually,,, aowww taking in a plug ha ha

  • Cody

    just imagine when the tablet craze hits the prisons. ouch.

  • wadrockzz

    NICE! Bluetooth should work as the headset should be within 30 feet! HAHA! A new meaning to “quit talking out of your ass”!

  • Mark

    Now that’s some shitty service…

  • Ryan

    how do they charge the phones?????

  • Lee

    “Reminder, remind me to extract iPhone once I get pass the guards.”

  • Shannon

    Is this really news? Doesn’t everyone know this?

  • bossmads Danish

    +2 ha ha

  • tone

    Wonder if they got an ipad in??!!!!!!!

  • Lee

    Siri is asking a question while the iPhones up his butt. Siri — Would you like to find the nearest bathroom sir?

    • inliferound

      Nice one!

  • The Wizard’s Baker

    Life proof cases new challenge

  • aineel

    all for the love of technology. :)

  • David

    Wow, are inmates asses THAT floppy????? Lol

  • God

    Take that iPhone, wrap it up real nice, turn it sideways, AND STICK IT UP, YOUR CANDY A**!!!!

    -The Rock