Author: Debate_Guru

Cell Phones Should be Allowed in Prisons

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PRO (2 arguments)


Cell Phones – Cellular phones of any kind that have an ITT Hound Cell chip that can basically track down the inmate’s location and position. Prison enforcement officers will record calls made by the inmates. The term “contraband cell phones” are cell phones used by inmates to conduct illegal calls.

Prisons – Prisons such as Federal Prison Camps (inmates serve labor or other services because of minor felonies or offenses), Federal Correctional Institutions (rehabilitation center for minor offenses), and medium security federal correctional institutions. Prisons that include high security level penitentiaries or death row inmates are excluded, due to the fact that currently in all states, cell phones are strictly prohibited in high security level penitentiaries or death row facilities.



AT: Contraband cell phones are a danger to society
Most contraband cell phones are located in high-level penitentiary facilities or in death row. According to Department of Criminal Justice, the ratio of contraband cell phones in high-risk level prisons to low risk level prisons is 75 to 1. In fact, cell phone use in these high security level facilities has been banned. We are currently arguing under the current standard of today’s cell phone laws in prison. Currently, cell phone use in prison is allowed ONLY in low and medium risk facilities. (Major Refutation)

1. Cell phones can monitor criminals

Cell phones could be used to monitor the location of prisoners within a prison facility. Products like the ITT Cell Hound can track all cell phones within a prison and display their location on a computer screen. In addition, with the ITT Cell Hound, prison enforcement officers can hear and record calls made by the inmate. This ensures that the inmates aren’t making any ‘illegal’ calls.


In 2007, the state of Texas implemented ITT Hound Cells into every inmate’s cell phones. The number of contraband cell phones was 2044 statewide in Texas. When ITT Hound Cells were utilized, the number of contraband cell phones dropped drastically in 2007 to 301. By 2009, there were no more contraband cell phones. Similar studies in Alabama, Nebraska, Arkansas, Washington, Oregon, and others displayed close results as well. (Warden’s Advisory Group on Cell Phone Interdiction)

2. Cell phones in prisons provide huge revenue

Certain carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless, control cell phone connection in prison. Inmates who call families will be charged 10 cents per minute (Warden’s Advisory Group on Cell Phone Interdiction). According to the Louisiana Department of Corrections, one facility in Louisiana made 10.2 million dollars by having inmates pay for cell phone calls in a 3 year period ending in 2011. In addition, 64 other Louisianan facilities made 10.2 million dollars each as well.


The total revenue in the mobile applications industry is expected to be $35 billion by 2014. According to a study by the Houston Chronicles, a whopping 90% of inmates with cell phones have purchased mobile “apps” that range from online books to games like Farmville and Angry Birds. This, in turn, can provide additional stimulus to the American economy.