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Charles Manson caught with smuggled LG cellphone in prison. What should be done?


TalkHow bad is the contraband cellphone problem in California's prison?

So bad, according to The Times' Jack Dolan, that officials caught one of America's most notorious killers with one.

 Charles Manson was caught with an LG flip phone under his prison mattress.

Manson made calls and sent text messages to people in California, New Jersey, Florida and British Columbia before officers discovered the phone, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections. Asked whether Manson had used the device to direct anyone to commit a crime or to leave a threatening message, Thornton said, "I don't know, but it's troubling that he had a cellphone since he's a person who got other people to murder on his behalf."

According to Dolan, guards found 1,400 cellphones in 2007, when the department began to keep records of confiscations. The number jumped to 6,995 in 2009 and stands at 8,675 so far this year.

What should be done about this problem? Share your ideas and opinions below.


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Photos: Charles Manson in a 1968 booking photo, left, and in 2009 at Corcoran State Prison. Credits: Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Comments () | Archives (55)

I say, when you find an inmate with a cell phone, you shove the thing where the sun doesn't shine, then stitch the hole shut. Guaranteed the inmate wont want another one!

Start by following the court order to reduce the prison population. Then the prisons can keep a closer eye on remaining prisoners. Let out all drug offenders and stop arresting citizens for using drugs unless they commit a real crime. Allow judges to impose reasonable sentiences to begin with, do away with the 3 strikes law.

The only way an inmate can get a cell phone is from a prison guard. Unfortunately, the prison guard union owns California's State politicians so we won't see any action on this problem for the foreseeable future.

Get him a phone with AT&T. His calls will get dropped.

One of the ironies of life: we as free citizens deal with ongoing service & signal issues, due to any number of variables, when on business & personal calls that matter to us; YET, Charlie Manson can successfully place numerous cross-country calls from inside a concrete block? OY!

Block reception at prisons, make it a dead zone on signals.

End o story

Prisons can use lead in their roofing material which will very effectively block any the signal.

Seems like an easy fix. Install a cell phone jammer. Problem solved.

Thats not prisoners keestering phones, that is CO's making money giving prisoners private access to the outside..... Mail is read, visiting is monitored, phone calls are subject to be recorded. I am willing to bet that a few murders have been ordered though prison cells.

I am sure he was just someone's "Phone a Friend" on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Who else is there to help you answer questions on mass murder?

8,675 phones confiscated so far this year!!!!!!!!!
The question is who's bringing this phones into the prison?
What is happening with the smugglers?
Are they being searched as much as we are when we fly?
Let's send the TSA to the prisons......

I would suggest that prison officials immediately demand that all inmates surrender all cell phones and other contraband.

What should be done? I'd start by checking his rear-end for additional contraband, then I'd search his cell. Then I'd issue a firm reprimand in an authoritative voice. If that didn't work, I'd roll up a newspaper and smack him on the nose with it while screaming "No Phone, Bad Charlie!"

You seriously couldn't cme up with a better close to this article?

This charge should be punishable by death. Only for Manson though. Seriously.

This actually happened WELL over a year ago. Why is it being reported now as it just happened? All of the calls were innocent.

What should be done? First, you punish the inmates that have cellphones. Second, you make it so painful for those supplying inmates with cellphones that the practice slows to a trickle. It's ridiculous that people running a red light in L.A. are punished more than someone supplying contraband to a convicted, incarcerated felon.

why not put a cellular signal jammer in the prison? they are cheap and readily available. sure it would also interrupt legitimate cell service, but do the guards need to use their phones while on the clock?

I agree with Astonished...but the U.S.s justice system is filled with bullet holes due to leniency, they won't have the heart to do it. Stitching the hole shut will prevent the inmate from defecating, thus eventually killing the inmate, thus solving our overcrowding in prison problem. I personally believe we should send all serious convicts into the frontlines of the U.S. army. They'll be our soldiers' meatshields, solve the overcrowding problem, & save tax-payer money, but the U.S. will never result to any legitimate justice. Anyway, I digress. Preventing a signal from reaching the prisons seems like a good thing, but then that might disrupt communications between guards too, so that's out of the question. We could always wire the cellphones to capture the others in the schemes...but that furthers the overcrowding....hmm...

When a system treat its criminal population as animals, they are going to continue behaving like animals. We offer carrots to despotic regimes, but to our imprisoned population no such thing. According to media reports, we killed more people than most nations, and yet, crime prevention is nowhere to be found and what do we do to correct the problem? We continue with the same failed policies corroborating how stupid our elected officials are. They are, obviously, the Einstein's definition of madness. In one of those countries of Eastern Europe, now supposedly democracies, they treat their prisoners, even the worst of the worst like humans and no major problems arise; here, our jails look more like Iraq war zones than correctional institutions. Even the name, correctional, is an oxymoron. A judicial system that is based more on revenge than redemption is no justice, no matter how you slice it. Giving prisoners one our a day darkness break is cruel and unusual punishment, but maybe they should consider themselves lucky. Maybe when this "Christian" government of ours runs out of Muslims to torture, guess who might be next? Joe Q. Public. You have been warned. Remember, it only takes now the word of a coward calling you "enemy combatant" for defending their country from the invaders, and Guantanamo, here we come. Make your reservations in advance. Next in line: Julian Assange, Please

THIS IS THE FAULT OF CELL PHONE COMPANIES. all you have to do is jam cell phone signals through out the prison. there is technology to do so and not affect the community surrounding the prison. but guess who's fighting this??? CELL PHONE COMPANIES!!! they make bank from prepaid phones smuggled into prisons.

beat him with it.

This is OLD NEWS. It happened well over a year ago.

What happens to other inmates when they find contraband on theor persons? Manson should be dealt the same treatment.
Also... the cell phone company can pull the records and see what the text messages were about and who the calls were made too.
I wonder why these things are not found earlier when they do room searches or person searches. Maybe instead of having a body scan at the airport they should invest in money for scans at prisons. Even some the guards are dirty.

Why... put out his eyes with a hot iron stick, of course.

Charles Manson shouldn't even be in jail right now anyway. People don't know their facts and think all these horrible things about him from what they've heard.

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