The federal penalty for possession of a contraband phone by an inmate is currently a statutory maximum of one year of imprisonment, which is a Class A misdemeanor. This Article surveys 56 jurisdictions from across the United States (the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and discovers that the federal penalty for this offense is much lower than the national average for comparable offenses, which is an average statutory maximum of five years of imprisonment. To rectify this discrepancy, the Article proposes increasing the federal statutory maximum for the offense from one year to five years, based on supporting data from the surveyed jurisdictions and policy arguments based on recidivism studies.
Eichner, Andrew W.
"A Cross-Jurisdictional Analysis of Penalties for Possession of Contraband Phones by Inmates and a Proposal to Increase the Federal Penalty,"
Touro Law Review: Vol. 38:
4, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.tourolaw.edu/lawreview/vol38/iss4/10