National Emergency Alert System Outed Prisoners Hiding Phones

The national Emergency Alert System (EAS) test exposed prisoners hiding phones behind bars and made them easy targets for guards, as millions received test messages with a loud alert noise on Wednesday. Prison officials across the U.S. confiscated illegal cell phones during the test, which was conducted to ensure that the government’s alerts reach the public. Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York reported that two phones were confiscated there, though it’s unknown just how many illegal phones were discovered nationwide. Officials say it’s likely that many inmates turned off their illegal cellphones prior to the test, since many were aware that the alert was going to happen. Inmates who were found with cellphones could be charged with a Class E felony, which is not only punishable by a $3,000 fine, but additional time is added to the violator’s current sentence. Nationwide, inmates are prohibited from having cellphones because they could use them for drug trafficking activities, gang control, taunting witnesses, planning escapes, and arrangements of other crimes. In addition, limiting telephone access to prison phones allows officials to record all conversations in order to carefully monitor for illegal activity.