Thursday, October 27, 2011

WTH: Man Loses Parole for Using Cellphone to Call Family About Being Paroled

Dwayne Kennedy landed in prison — and rightly so — after throwing a man from a moving car in 1988. However, he was recently deemed eligible for parole, despite a history of violent crimes. Kennedy lost said parole for using a cellphone to call his family to tell them he’d been paroled.

That’s right, California prison officials are keeping Kennedy locked up for an extra five years at a cost of approximately $250,000 taxpayer dollars because guards caught him with a contraband cellphone. He said he borrowed the phone to inform his family that he had just been granted parole and was coming home.

In theory, he did not technically get five more years for using the cellphone. Authorities said that he violated the terms and conditions of his parole for using what was considered contraband. Now he will have to serve an additional five years before getting another chance to request parole again.

Cellphones are popular in prisons across the nation. Inmates not only use them to make personal calls, but also to continue to control and run criminal operations, intimidate witnesses, and order violent attacks on the outside. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Oct. 6 making it a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in a county jail.

Under the new law, inmates caught with cellphones face losing 90 days of credit earned for good behavior. In Kennedy’s case, using the cellphone lengthened his prison stay because a 2008 ballot measure extended the time inmates serving life sentences must wait for a new hearing when they are denied parole or their parole offer is revoked. –torrance stephens

Cited here: Rolling Out

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