The U.S. House of Representatives has approved S. 1749, which makes it illegal for prisoners to have possession of a mobile phone or other other device that can access wireless services. The Senate approved the bill in April. It only needs to be signed by the President to become law. Cell phones are already banned at prisons, but this new law will make it a punishable crime. State governments have also petitioned the federal government to allow for cell phone signal jamming in and near prisons to prevent inmates from communicating with outsiders. CTIA wireless association president and CEO Steve Largent said, “CTIA and the wireless industry are pleased that the House joined the Senate in passing this important piece of legislation which would prohibit the possession or use of cell phones by federal prisoners. We strongly oppose prisoners having access to contraband phones and believe inmates, and anyone who supplies them with a device, should be severely punished.” It’s not clear when the bill will be signed by the President and enacted into law.
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