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$5,000 Fine For Smuggling Phones Into Prison, CA Senate Approves Bill

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It is now a misdemeanor for any prison employee or visitor to smuggle a cell phone into prison, reports. ABC Local. Senators unanimously approved the bill SB26, similar to one that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed as too weak, on Thursday, reports the Sacramento Bee. The misdemeanor is punishable up to a $5,000 fine.

It is not illegal to have a cell phone inside a state prison, but "inmates caught with phones can lose good behavior credits, potentially extending their sentences," notes ABC Local. The rising numbers of phones confiscated in prisions statewide has been on the rise. In 2006, officials confiscated 261 cell phones. In 2010, that number jumped to 10,761.