Sir Jarvis Armitage-Shanks, the chairman of HM Scallydale Prison’s Independent Monitoring Board, told the media that illegal phones are fuelling jailbird drug trading and turning honest penitentiaries into hotbeds of crime.
Pontificating to reporters that the only way – in his unqualified opinion – to stop prisoners using cellphones to order pizza deliveries – and arranging for their outside gangs to pull off robberies, and snuff witnesses vital to prosecutions in ongoing trials, is to employ anti-terrorist technology to jam the incoming and outgoing mobile phone signals.
This statement elicited several puzzled looks and bouts of head-scratching from sober journalists before the illustrious chairman was asked “Why don’t you conduct a thorough search – turn the entire prison over – and confiscate any and all contraband materials – including guns, inflatable love dolls and mobile phones?”
Good question – but one not that simple to answer – and an even more difficult task to implement with any modicum of success – if a centenarian duffer like Armitage-Shanks is to be believed.
Following the prison’s Christmas celebrations in 2008 the Governor ordered a full search of each cell for – oddly enough – cellphones – an exercise in which 845 mobiles were seized – which wasn’t bad going for a prison population of 1,650 – including visitors and Albanian pikey squatters.
However the prison’s Grassers & Snitches Association quickly leaked vital info’ that the 800-plus seized mobiles were the inmate’s old units – ready for shit-canning and recycling.
A further surprise search – prior to which wardens were ordered not to tell more than a dozen of their con’ clients – was scheduled but only managed to turn up two cocoa cans and a long piece of string – plus a pair of dessert spoons used to tap out Morse code on the prison’s water pipes.
Shanks revealed that top security wing prisoners actually resorted to concealing their state-of-the-art Blackberry Smart phones and Crapple iPhones by shoving them up the back passage of some hapless trustee, sheathed in a condom, and simply retrieved them – sanitised – when there was ‘business’ to be done.
There is speculation – obviously unfounded – that members of the prison staff – particularly wardens – are being induced – for illicit fiscal remuneration – to not only conceal cell phones on their person for use by certain high profile villains but to also provide a full and efficient mobile phone service – with cheaper calls after 6:00pm and at weekends and 20 free text messages with every £50 pay-as-you-go top up.
The Ministry of Justice has responded with the futile statement that it is already a criminal offence to smuggle a phone into one of Her Majesty’s prisons – a crime which you can actually go to prison for – and that a new bill before the House of Conmans includes legislation intended to make it illegal for convicts to possess a phone while they are incarcerated – another offence they could well go to jail for.