Dwayne Kennedy has been in prison in California since 1990. Last year, he was finally granted parole. He was so very happy! He borrowed another inmate's contraband cell phone to call his family. "We were crying and praying" with joy, his sister says. And then?
California prison officials are keeping Kennedy locked up for an extra five years - costing taxpayers roughly $250,000 - because guards caught him with a contraband cellphone he says he borrowed to tell his family he had just been granted parole and was coming home...
In Kennedy's case, using the cellphone derailed his parole bid and effectively lengthened his prison stay by at least five years. That's because a 2008 ballot measure extended the time inmates serving life sentences must wait for a new hearing when they are denied parole or their parole offer is revoked.
And the worst part is he didn't have a phone to tell his family he'd be late!
Kidding, the worst part is the abject failure of America's prison industrial complex.