For the past few years, we've been reading plenty of stories about how prisoners have been smuggling mobile phones into prisons in order to keep in touch with the outside world, often continuing to run criminal efforts from the inside. However, at least one prison feels that smuggling in the devices is too much of an effort, so they'll now start giving all prisoners their own
mobile phones, (found via the Inquirer) though the prisoners will need to pay for the calls themselves. This doesn't appear to be a minimum security type of prison either, housing mainly drug dealers and robbers. Some are complaining that mobile phones are a luxury prisoners don't deserve, and this isn't the first time this same prison has come under fire. Already, prisoners can get access to satellite TV, DVDs and even personal showers within their cells. Many believe that this kind of luxury goes against the entire point of putting people in prison: punishing them and trying to convince them they don't want to come back. Others (such as those at the prison, for example) seem to believe that these types of features do a much better job of rehabilitating the prisoners by making it that much more evident the connections and people they're now cut off from by being in prison. They note that being able to talk to family members regularly can help decrease the likelihood of someone becoming a repeat offender. While it would obviously help if there were actually more data to back this up, it's certainly an interesting argument -- and raises questions about whether prisons are designed more as punishment or for rehabilitation. Update: As is noted in the comments, these are land line phones in jail cells, not (as I wrote) mobile phones.
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