By Lt. Kirk Geringer, AA/PIO

Pleasant Valley State Prison

Cell Phones for SoldiersPleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) honored and supported the U.S. Armed Forces in May during National Military Appreciation Month with a donation of more than 500 cell phones.

The Central Valley K-9 Unit and the Investigative Services Unit at PVSP acquired 530 cellular phones, plus charging devices, to donate to “Cell Phones for Soldiers,” which gives troops the ability to stay connected to their families. The program has provided more than 204 million minutes of free talk time.

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Pleasant Valley State Prison Investigative Services Unit staff left to right: Leopoldo Quezada, Officer; Rene Reyes, Officer; Joseph Lopez, Lieutenant; Albert Rangel, Officer; Joseph Melendez, Officer; Alex Avila, Sergeant; Robert Milam, Officer

Contraband cell phone usage is a problem that CDCR takes seriously.  Cell phone use by inmates poses a security risk by circumventing the monitoring processes in prisons.  PVSP staff’s vigilance in gaining information relative to “contraband drops” and conducting cell searches is a testament to their dedication to keeping inmates, staff and the public safe.

The U.S. Senate passed a resolution in 1999 designating May as National Military Appreciation Month. It encourages U.S. citizens to honor current and former members of the armed forces, especially those who have died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.

Since its inception in 2004, “Cell Phones for Soldiers” has worked to keep military families connected by providing tools for free communication for those serving overseas in the U.S. military.  “Cell Phones for Soldiers” has recycled more than 10.8 million cell phones eliminating more than 5 million pounds of e-waste from our landfills.