Con-phones spawn inmate YouTube protest

Jan 8th, 2014 | By | Category: Cell phones, Officer Safety, Paco's Podium, Security, Spotlight

Paco: Failure to squelch means you’re on candid camera

Contraband cellphones allow inmates to capture and filter events on their own terms.

Contraband cellphones allow inmates to capture and filter events on their own terms.

Alabama Department of Corrections inmates posting protest videos recorded on contraband cellphones

By Mike Cason |
MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Alabama state prisoners are not allowed to have cellphones, but that policy hasn’t stopped some inmates from showing up on YouTube in recorded interviews talking about prison conditions and other issues.

Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett said the videos, posted on the YouTube channel Free Alabama Movement, are part of the nonviolent protests taking place at three Alabama prisons. Inmates are protesting about not being paid for prison jobs, unsanitary conditions, overcrowding, sentencing and parole policies and other issues.

Corbett said disciplinary action is possible against those inmates involved in the videos because of the contraband phones.

The number of inmates refusing to work at prison jobs as part of the protest went down today…(Full text at

Ethics, it is said, is how one behaves when no one is looking. Correctional Officers, ethical and otherwise, are well advised to assume everyone is looking–It’s how you should do things, after all.

On the political side, Paco finds it ironic the nation’s governors defer to the FCC on signal blocking while on so many other issues federal law is ignored and poo-pooed.

Many states routinely ignore US immigration and controlled substance laws…with impunity.  The Obama Administration is on record with a list of federal laws it will not enforce.  

Yet, when it comes to stopping this immediate and direct threat to prison security and public safety we cower at the threat of sanctions from a federal bureaucracy concerned only with frequencies, bandwidth and broadcast etiquette.

Meanwhile, gangsters are controlling their syndicates from jail and prison, issuing death contracts, intimidating witnesses and, in one case, exposing what appears to be unacceptable conditions and practices.

Governors, grow a set. Purchase the off-the-shelf jammers needed, install them and tell Eric Holder to pound sand. He will. It’s what he does.

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3 Comments to “Con-phones spawn inmate YouTube protest”

  1. kl2008a says:

    If CDC (no R) was really interested in attempting thwart cellphone possession by the inmates they would make it a class “A” rule violation with no chance to restore the credit loss. But wait, that would mean they’d be in custody longer and more expense to the taxpayers. Just a thought tho.

  2. Howie Katz says:

    It seems as though for every contraband cell phone that is confiscated, two more phones are smuggled into the prison. Let’s face it and get real. With out the use of a good jamming system, the fight to keep con-phones out of prisons is a lost cause.

  3. Bob Walsh says:

    Some state government agencies might be bothered by an in-your-face violation of federal law. They also might be afraid of being sued by somebody or other over interfering with cell service near the prisons. One would think that low power jammers would do the job without bothering legitimate use off prison grounds. I understand that in Israel, where such things are legal, theaters use cell phone jammers to prevent interruption of the program. (There might also be some security issues there as well.)