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Bill Would Make Giving Inmates A Cell Phone A Misdemeanor

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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) — A bill making it a misdemeanor to smuggle cellphones to California inmates is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown.

The Senate unanimously approved Assembly amendments to SB26 by Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles on Thursday.

Under current California law, it is not illegal to possess a cellphone in a prison. Inmates can face discipline such as a loss of privileges, and guards can lose their jobs but cannot be prosecuted.

Thousands of prisoners, including Charles Manson, have been caught with smuggled phones.

The Senate also unanimously sent Brown SB1390 by Sen. Elaine Alquist, a Democrat from Santa Clara. It requires monthly searches of employees and vendors at each state prison.

Nearly 11,000 cellphones were seized in prisons last year.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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