Smuggled Phones Help Cons Play FarmVille From Behind Bars

Just because you’re locked up, you shouldn’t have to miss out on texting buddies, logging status updates and playing FarmVille. Thanks to smuggling channels and intense demand, cell phones have become as much a part of the prison experience as lunchtime brawls and toothbrush shanks.

The New York Times reports prison workers confiscated untold thousands of phones from inmates last year — 9,000 last year in California alone. Prisoners can score the devices from guards, relatives and convicts, costing between $300 and $1,000, and associates on the outside pay the monthly bills to keep the phones going. The Times reports prisoners use phones for everything from coordinating riots to playing FarmVille.

“It is impossible to have enough staff to watch the two million people we have locked up in the country at this time,” said the director of South Carolina’s Department of Corrections. “In a perfect world, yes, we would find all the phones. But this isn’t a perfect world.”

Outlawed, Cellphones Are Thriving in Prisons [The New York Times]