We all have a price, or so I’ve been told. Whether we do or not is probably a function of our individual ethical threshold. It is no different within our prison systems or for the individuals behind badges. Like contraband, drug paraphernalia, sharp objects and the various other illegal objects that make it into our prison system on a daily basis, prison systems can’t seem to keep cell phones out of the jail cells. It’s reached a point now where prison systems are seeking outside assistance from mobile phone companies, asking them to jam mobile phone signals by flooding the prison systems with airways.
The question that comes to mind is why citizens and jail officers would risk their jobs and freedom to sneak mobile phones and other items into prisons? The answer is of course found within the basic economic models of scarcity. Items like contraband and mobile phones may sell from anywhere between 3 to 10 times their street value within the walls of our prison system. Indeed, a friend of mine who works within the local jails has been offered $35.00 for a pack of cigarettes. The lesson that won’t be learned is of course, if we can’t keep illegal items out a fully secured prison facility, with 8×10 jails cells, how in the world can we expect to keep these items out of a nation with over 9,000 miles of border?