Prison inmate's sentences are currently up for debate in the Maryland legislature, but it's the inmates who have been doing the talking. A bill before the Maryland State Senate calls for an automatic reduction in the amount of good-time credits a sentenced inmate typically receives by the Maryland Division of Corrections if that inmate is caught possessing a cell phone while incarcerated. The bill was presented to the Legislature by Senator Shank, a republican from Washington county.
Those if favor of the bill argue that an inmate who gets his hands on a cell phone places the corrections officers and other inmates at risk, as well as the outside community. Inmates have the ability to organize potentially dangerous actions within the prison walls in addition to being able to conduct criminal activity, such as drug trafficking or witness intimidation beyond the prison walls.
Under Maryland law, cell phones are telecommunication devices that are considered contraband. Contraband such as cell phones, radios, or any other devices that transmit communications are prohibited in places of confinement. Possession of contraband in a place of confinement is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment, and a $1000 fine. The bill currently up for debate would not change or take the place of this misdemeanor, but rather would serve as additional punishment by affecting the sentence an inmate is already serving on an unrelated crime.