Prisoners’ Confiscated Cell Phones Help Non-Profit - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Prisoners’ Confiscated Cell Phones Help Non-Profit

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by Marcus Washington

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Hundreds of state prisoners are still orchestrating some of the state's most violent crimes from behind bars by using cell phones smuggled into prisons.

"It's a nationwide problem. A cell phone is the most dangerous contraband to have in the facility because it can be used to organize illegal activity within the facility and more importantly on the outside," said Tennessee Department of Correction's Shenette Cheatham who is Director of Victim and Rehabilitative Services.

Behind the walls of state prisons, crimes are being orchestrated by some of Tennessee's most violent criminals by using cell phones smuggled into prison.

Cheatham said in the past five to six years: guests, volunteers, visitors and staff members have smuggled the cell phones in and given them to inmates.

In honor of the partnership and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Tennessee Department of Correction donated nearly 4,000 cell phones confiscated from state prisoners.

"This is a really great way that not just the Tennessee Department of Correction, but all of Nashville, can support the YW, bring us your cell phone and we can change it into a cash contribution that helps pay for our services," said YWCA president and CEO Patricia Shey.

She said to run the domestic violence programs costs $2.5 million a year and the donated cell phone will help keep these programs going.

"The amount of money we get per phone depends on the phone, how old it is, what kind it is; some phone might bring in 50 cents, but a really good new phone can bring us as much as $100," said Shey.

If you have an old cell phone that you are not using, you can donate it to the YWCA by dropping the phone(s) off at 1608 Woodmont Blvd. Monday – Friday; 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or make arrangement by calling, 615-269-9922.

Email: mwashington@newschannel5.com
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