Permit state prisons to allow inmates to have cell phones.
Why is this important?
*Connection to families is good for prisoners and prisons.
*Because of the corona-virus prisoners can receive no visitations. State sanctioned prison phones present a sanitation risk that may spread the virus.
*The cost to use state phones is prohibitive for many prisoners.
*Cellphones are lifelines that keep prisoners connected to hope. Hopeless people are the ones who become violent and self-destructive.
*Human connection is central to life and people connected to families, especially children, and friends are far more likely to re-enter society successfully and not reoffend. The ability to call a parent could be transformative.
*Time spent connected to families is time spent not being violent in the yard and not stewing in rage, frustration and depression. Cellphone use to connect with families engenders less disruptive and calmer prisoner behavior.
Managed access technology can track and monitor all calls and maintain prison security, the same as state phones are monitored.