The full Senate approved a measure that would tackle the issue of contraband cellphones in Oklahoma prisons.

Sen. Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher, proposed Senate Bill 1164 after hosting an interim study about the illegal use of cellphones behind bars.

“Contraband cellphones can pose serious security threats to inmates, correctional officers and civilians,” Jech said. “With cellphone access, inmates can initiate violence, make threats and participate in drug deals and other crimes all while still behind bars.”

The measure would require the annual report to include the current status of contraband cellphones from the more than 30 DOC facilities across the state, the number of devices collected in the current year and an updated plan of action to address the issue.

The yearly report would be given to the governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

In 2019, more than 150 inmates in an Oklahoma prison instigated acts of violence led by gang leaders and members behind bars.

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