Smartphones are illegal for inmates to have, but many are smuggled into prisons, where they’re used to keep in touch with family, read the news, and now, Vining.
Fusion’s investigation of technology use in prisons found a Viner called “Acie Bandage” who posts six-second loops of himself and fellow inmates goofing off in their cells, mostly dancing.
Acie Bandage posted his first Vine in November of 2013, has 455 followers, and has posted more than 90 Vines that have received around 330,000 views. Bandage is apparently Somalian, and has posted Vines with the hashtag#somaliproblems.
Smartphones are expensive to obtain in prison. A California prisoner said that he once paid one grand for an old Verizon flip phone, and smartphones cost around $3,500. But high prices haven’t deterred prisoners, and in 2010 alone California confiscated 10,700 phones from inmates.
In 2010, president Obama signed a bill making it a federal crime for anyone to sneak phones into prisons.