Should prisoners be allowed to have cellphones?

Cellphones are not allowed in South African prisons, but some inmates have them. (Photo: StockXchng)

Cellphones are not allowed in South African prisons, but some inmates have them. (Photo: StockXchng)

Recent media reports about prison unrest in South Africa have mentioned that some inmates have cellphones, which is against the rules.

Read an eye-opening article about how inmates get cellphones and other items in the underground prison economy.

Do you think prisoners should be allowed to have phones?

The chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service has caused a stir by saying he believes inmates should have access to phones in their cells. According to the UK’s Daily Record, Colin McConnell says this would help inmates to maintain contact with their families and reduce reoffending.

Read more about McConnell’s ideas.

Read about how South Africa’s prisoners struggle to keep in touch with family members on the outside and how this might affect recidivism rates.

Listen to the story of how one former inmate kept in contact with his wife.

 

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

3 Responses to Should prisoners be allowed to have cellphones?

  1. With the high cost of phone calls in prisons, i think the idea of inmates having their own cell phones might be a good one to consider. In the united states alone the prison phone industry is a booming business. Families cannot afford to pay the almost $20.00 per 15 minute phone call fee to stay in contact with their loved one. This is a topic that should absolutely be considered. The more support an inmate has on the outside the less likely they are to re-offend. Take a look at one of my blog posts on this very issue. Thanks for posting this on your site. Its important to promote awareness about such matters.
    http://familiesbehindbars.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/the-price-of-inmate-and-family-communication/

  2. angie says:

    Who can you contact to report a prisoner who has a cellphone and is threatening people who testified against him?

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