The Chronicle article notes 2,800 calls have been made by 10 death-row inmates:
Cell phones are just about the hottest commodity inside prisons," said the prisons' inspector general, John Moriarty, whose office has opened 743 cases involving cell phones found in Texas prisons.
Moriarty said he knew of no hits ordered from prison using smuggled cell phones, though there have been drug deals made. Mostly, he believes, inmates use the phones to call home.
But just how do smugglers get phones past a penitentiary's security?
Some visitors have been caught hiding cell phones in the heels of their shoes. Some get them through security, only to get caught later dropping them in trash bins during visitation, Moriarty said.
Last year, an inmate was discovered to have both a cell phone and charger in his rectum. Moriarty said it's not clear how many people have smuggled cell phones into prisons in their body cavity; metal detectors won't typically sound the alarm.
Until this week, when a lockdown was declared amid revelations that 10 death row inmates made nearly 2,800 calls in the past month from a cell phone, not everyone entering Texas prisons, not even all visitors, were scanned for contraband.