Thursday, January 20, 2011

In Prison Are Smuggled Drugs Or Cell Phones Worse?

This past week Colombian police in Bucaramanga made a startling discovery.  A carrier pigeon was found a block away from the city's prison trying to make it over the wall but failing because of a 45g package of marijuana and cocaine paste strapped to its back.  According to the BBC, this is one of the first times that a pigeon has been found carrying drugs.  But what's more important to me is the fact that this wasn't the first time they have been used to smuggle things into prisons throughout the world.  No, the item most commonly smuggled into prisons is a symbol of the modern age: the cellphone. 

Although this may seem harmless at first glance, in reality this should scare the shit out of you. Through the use of cell phones gang leaders who have been caught are able to continue to run their gangs with almost the same amount of ease that they had on the outside.  Stories of prisoners ordering hits, intimidation's, kidnappings, and even bank robberies are rampant.  What's more, as cell phones become increasingly advanced and we become more and more connected online, it becomes even easier for prisoners to find you as one death row inmate was able to find personal details about Senator John Whitmire.  What this means is that prison (which was already an ineffective system) has become almost meaningless.  As long as cell phones are easily found inside their walls, what really separates a free or imprisoned gang leader beyond a jumpsuit?  

1 comment:

  1. Wow. A good commentary that makes a point that many people might not have known about. I get why its important to you and why other people should care. And even better, you do it in a relatively short amount of time. The only thing you could have done to make this piece even sweeter is something we haven't covered in class, which is add a small idea about how we can go about solving this problem. It is good to criticize and find fault but it is divine to become part of the solution.