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.