Cell phones in prisons and jails are a hot commodity. Finding national numbers was hard to do, but to give you a perspective of how big it is, California prison guards found 9,000 in 2013.
State police officer told me one time while working on a tip they busted a female during visitation at a prison with 3 flip phones. They were wrapped up and “inside her”. That is is an example of great lengths to get these phones inside a prison. But why? Because the price it goes for.
In Texas, a deathrow inmate paid $2,100 for one phone.
In 2011, the NY Times found that
“payments for cellphones range from $300 to $1,000, depending on the type of phone and the service plan. Monthly fees are generally paid by inmates’ relatives.”
Prison guard in Las Vegas was paid $2,000 by an accused murderers family to smuggle in 2 cell phones.
Prison guard in New Jersey was set up in a sting and thought they were getting $1,000 for a cell phone from an inmate.