Chicken-Fried News: Sole purpose 

click to enlarge INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

Happy holidays are in order for the Logan County Detention Center staff. They recently received six new cell phones in very unique gift packaging. Well, technically the package was delivered for an inmate and the cell phones would have been contraband, but that’s semantics.

While processing Nike shoes delivered for an inmate, officers noticed cutouts in the insole. Upon further inspection, they found six mini cell phones total — three in each shoe. Logan County sheriff Damon Devereaux said he has never seen anything like it before.

“That would be a phone, I would imagine, about the size for any of those American Girl Dolls or dolls of that same size,” he told KFOR. “I wouldn’t even think that was a real phone, but you can certainly call on it.”

The phones were each about 3 inches long — smaller than a standard crayon — so they easily fit in a small space cut out from the insole of the shoe, almost like the sole purpose for a phone that small is to smuggle into places that don’t allow them, like prisons or high school classrooms. (Chicken-Fried News does not condone the smuggling in of tiny, American Doll-size phones in any establishment that prohibits phones of any size.)

Contraband cell phones are so notorious that Oklahoma Department of Corrections director Scott Crow has even called them the No. 1 security threat for state prisons. In fact, Oklahoma Department of Corrections locked down several prisons across the state in September after an estimated 150-200 inmates initiated fights, leaving one dead and several others injured. Officials said communication via contraband phones facilitated the violence, so Gov. Kevin Stitt signed an executive order authorizing several agencies to research and implement technology to help combat the issue.

“Contraband cellphones in our state prisons have become a serious public safety concern in Oklahoma,” Stitt said. “This is a technology issue that must be answered with a technology solution in order to efficiently and effectively improve safety for our inmates, Department of Correction employees and citizens of Oklahoma.”

It doesn’t seem like much has happened yet beyond research, but once officials identify the most cost-effective solution, they said they will work to implement it. In the meantime, we’ve got to give props to the Logan County officers and their keen eye for shoe insole cutouts, which is not a sentence we ever thought we’d be writing. 

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