By Sara Jerome - 07/30/10 03:48 PM EDT
The bill arose out of concern that prisoners were using cell phones to direct criminal attacks and gang violence while incarcerated. Cell phones also allowed inmates to conduct credit-card fraud and decide territories for drug distribution, according to Feinstein.
"This is unacceptable,” she said of those possibilites after the bill passed the House. “This bill will help put an end to this criminal activity and punish those who would profit from smuggling cell phones and other wireless devices into our federal prisons.”
So far this year, authorities have discovered more than 3,200 cell phones among inmates in California prisons, according to Feinstein’s office.