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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary


Media Advisory
October 2, 2008
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Florida Prisons Fight to Keep Cell Phones Out of Prison Cells

Those who attempt to smuggle cell phones into Florida prisons could end up spending up to five years in one under a new law enacted October 1, 2008 making the introduction of cell phones into prison a third degree felony.

Razor, Florida DC's first cell phone detecting dog.
Razor, Florida DC's first
cell phone detecting dog.

On Tuesday, October 7 at 9:30 a.m. at Broward Correctional Institution (CI), Department of Corrections Secretary Walter McNeil will speak about the implementation of the new legislation that takes aim at those smuggling a cell phone, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), Blackberries and similar devices into prisons statewide. News media are also invited to view a canine drug and cell phone detection demonstration. Debuting during the demonstration will be canine RAZOR, the first cell phone detection dog to work in Florida prisons. RAZOR is taking a break in her eight week training to demonstrate her skills thus far.

“Cell phones in prison pose a significant threat to prison security, because they are used by inmates to coordinate escape attempts, intimidate witnesses, introduce contraband like drugs and weapons into the prison and engage in numerous other illegal activities,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Walter McNeil. “This legislation is a good first step in reducing those problems within our institutions.”

Inmates hide cell phones in shower shoes (above), bars of  soap, behind cell plumbing, etc.
Inmates hide cell phones in shower shoes (above),
bars of soap, behind cell plumbing, etc.

In FY 2007-08, 336 cell phones were confiscated from Florida’s prison population. As cell phone technology improves and they become smaller and easier to hide, the problem has become a prison security concern nationwide.

After the canine demonstration, members of the canine unit will also be available to answer questions. There will be visual and audio opportunities for the press. Following the press conference, media will be invited to tour Broward C.I. Cameras and recording devices will not be allowed in the prison.

Broward Correctional Institution
20421 Sheridan Street
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
33332-2300
(954) 252-6400
browardci@mail.dc.state.fl.us

Directions: From I-75 (Pembroke Pines) exit onto Sheridan Street West. Travel west approximately three miles, the institution will be on your right. From US-27, travel east on Sheridan Street for approximately one mile. The institution will be on your left.