California prison officials will start using new cellphone-blocking technology at a central San Joaquin Valley prison this week, the first step to rolling it out systemwide.
Avenal State Prison will start today to block inmates from making calls on smuggled cellphones. The company Global Tel Link installed the technology for free.
The company owns the pay phones in California's prisons and it now expects to see profits from collect calls soar. California prison guards confiscated nearly 11,000 contraband phones last year, a sharp increase from 2007 when only 1,400 were found. Prison officials say the phones have been used by inmates to organize and run criminal enterprises.