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Legislature Passes Stronger Penalties for Cell Phones in Prisons

A bill that would impose fines and extra prison time for the use or smuggling of cell phones in California prisons is on its way to the governor.

Democratic Senator Alex Padilla said his measure would help prevent cell phones from being used to coordinate street gang activity and traffic drugs.

“Yes, they’re technically banned from our prison system today, but unfortunately, there’s been no consequences. With this bill, there will finally be consequences for inmates who are caught with a cell phone – and also for the people who are smuggling cell phones in to distribute them to prisoners," Padilla said.

Padilla’s bill also allows the state to use new technology to block cell phone signals and communications in prisons.

The measure cleared its final vote in the Senate Thursday without opposition. If signed by the governor, it would take effect immediately.

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