New Thing to Be Terrified Of: iPhones In Prisons

prison break New Thing to Be Terrified Of: iPhones In PrisonsSmartphones are getting inside prisons, and the things prisoners are using them for are a lot worse than Facebook and FarmVille.

Prisoners are going on Facebook, playing FarmVille and tweeting using pseudonyms. The gangleader of the New York Bloods just got thrown into solitary confinement for self-promoting on YouTube, MySpace and Twitter.

But the prisoners are also organizing strikes, managing criminal enterprises, taking out hits and ordering seafood and cigars. Yep. Just like The Wire. Except now phones can access the Internet, and that makes things complicated.

“A smartphone hidden under a mattress is the modern-day file inside a cake,” reports The New York Times in a story about how prisoners are using smartphones.

Smartphones are smuggled in by visitors and guards, stuffed inside footballs or shot over the jailyard fence from a potato cannon.

So many prisoners use smartphones that it’s actually an excellent business opportunity, the publisher of iPhone Life told the Times.

“People outside of prison become addicted to their phones,” Hal Goldstein said. “Can you imagine if you had nothing but time on your hands?” Yes, yes we can. It would involve smoking cigars and playing endless hours of Mafia Wars.

ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries