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Calif. Tests New System To Crack Down On Prison Cell Phones

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How many bars means something completely different in prison. (credit: AP)

How many bars means something completely different in prison. (credit: AP)

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — California prison officials seized nearly 11,000 cell phones last year, some used to arrange extortions and assaults, others used by the likes of cult killer Charles Manson to connect with the outside world after more than four decades behind bars.

Manson became an unlikely face of the prison cell phone problem in California after he was caught calling people across North America on the phone that guards discovered in March 2009. He was caught with a second phone last month.

Corrections officials are trying new ways to strike back.

They tell The Associated Press they will test a system to capture every cell phone signal from a prison and block unauthorized calls as they search for technology to stop what has become a growing problem inside prison walls.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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