For many registrants on parole, the basic flip phone” is the only type cell phone allowed by parole officers. You can make phone calls, you can send texts, but beyond that, you are relegated to the dinosaur age. Internet access is for bidden.
Recently a registrant on parole needed a new phone, his trusty old “flip phone” no longer held a charge.
It wasn’t surprising to later find that batteries for that model phone were no longer available. (Not a big market for “flip phones” these days.)
The registrant casually mentioned his predicament to his P.O., and here’s what the P.O. suggested and what really ticked me off.
The P.O.’s suggestion was that the registrant might want to get himself a particular type phone. It’s a phony phone that “looks like a smartphone” but it’s for talk and text only, no internet access and oh, by the way, it’s designed for children. A smartphone look-a-like, made to “look” like the real thing. It even requires a “parent” phone number connected to it, which would mean the registrant would need another adult to have a primary phone number connected to his secondary phone number. It’s a “security device” for parents to monitor their children’s phones.
The benefit of the kiddie phone as the P.O. sees it. “Well, it would make it look like you lived in the current decade, that you had a real phone, that you “fit in” in with the rest of the world.”
A low blow if you ask me.
This registrant isn’t a child, they’re a grown adult and suggesting they get a “kiddie phone” just seems so wrong in so many ways.
My first thought when I heard about this was, “that’s just what a registrant needs to get caught with, a “kiddie phone”. Am I being paranoid to think that that wouldn’t end well for a registrant if they were ever stopped by police?
My second thought, how low will these P.O.’s go. Treating grown men like children, throwing them a bone, “here, you want a phone like everyone else, here, here’s a “kiddie phone” for you. “
And my third thought, when does this P.O. bull____ end?
Most registrants are grown adults and deserve respect just like anyone else. Denying them phones with internet access, a vehicle that is today’s primary source for all our medical needs, employment use, news, business, groceries. etc., is shameful. Suggesting that this registrant buy a phone that is specifically designed and marketed for children just goes against any kind of rational thinking. And the worst part of this, it’s degrading. It aims to put the registrant in a subservient role, it suggests that he is not responsible enough to have internet access, that he is a child that needs parental supervision.
There’s an easy solution to the registrant on parole phone/internet access problems that P.O.’s worry about.
Let registrants have internet access. Those that use their phones responsibly keep them, those that abuse the privilege, lose them. It’s so simple and it no one gets degraded. So damn simple.