Add yet another voice to the growing chorus of high level prison administrators who advocate for increased prisoner access to telecommunications to address a host of problems in prison. Among the reasons Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons in the UK, who heads up the prison system there, gave for this recommendation:
- The illegal use of mobile phones was widespread in most prisons and installing phones in cells would enable more calls to be monitored.
- Making inmates wait to use a phone on the landing and then asking prison officers to control the scrum as prisoners battled for five minutes to talk was a waste of scarce resources.
- In-cell phones would be monitored, with the calls paid for by prisoners and inmates restricted to calling certain pre-approved numbers only.
- I think there are some prisoners where, provided it was properly managed and supervised, it would be efficient and help people to sort themselves out.
- Our experience is that in-cell phones can have a positive impact on prisoners’ rehabilitation, not only encouraging the maintenance of family ties, but reducing the prevalence of illegal mobile phones.
We only have two questions. Where are the American prison leadership thought leaders on this approach? And why install wall phones, when you can deploy wireless prison payphones™ such as the meshDETECT secure prison cell phone solutions™ immediately and with no capital cost?