The measure by Democratic Senator Alex Padilla would punish cell phone smugglers - employees or visitors - with up to six months in prison and up to a five-thousand dollar fine per device. The bill has bipartisan support and passed its first committee unanimously. Padilla says the phones are a real threat to public safety:
"We don't just suspect, we know that cell phones are being used by inmates to commit all sorts of crimes. To intimidate witnesses, to terrorize rape victims, to plan escapes from prison, to coordinate attacks on guards; the list goes on and on."