Cell Phone Possession Gets Inmate Thrown Back in Jail

Overjoyed at his recent parole, Dwayne Kennedy borrowed a cell phone to call his family to let him know that he’s getting out. But he probably had to call back and cancel his plans because immediately after that he was caught with the contraband phone and was given an extra five years.

The stay, which will cost the state of California $250,000, was deemed necessary by parole commissioners John Peck and Dennis Smith who determined that the violation proved he was an “unreasonable risk of danger to society.”

This recent bust only serves to underscore the ongoing epidemic of contraband cell phones slipping into prisons. Only 261 of the devices turned up behind state prison walls five years ago. This year, guards are on pace to seize about 15,000 phones — nearly one for every 11 inmates. Heck, even Charlie Manson had two phones of his own.

“He was so happy…. We were crying and praying,” recalled his sister, Yolanda Kennedy, one of the people he called.

So far the LA County Superior County Court have denied Kennedy’s appeals. They suspect that perhaps something more nefarious was at foot than a simple celebration call.

“Frankly, this panel didn’t buy that you were going to call your supporters to thank them,” said Peck, a parole board commissioner and recently retired prison guard who presided over the June 2010 hearing. “There is no way you would put your parole date at risk to make a thank-you call.”

Oh well. Guess he could always hope for a computer error….

(Source: LA Times)

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