Philadelphia Courts to Make Visitors Bag Cellphones

Philadelphia courts building to begin bagging cellphones in magnetic plastic pouches

Visitors to Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center will have to keep their cellphones in magnetically locked bags. reports the new policy began Monday.

The courts have spent $50,000 to buy 4,500 Yondr bags. Court workers will make people put their phones in the plastic pouches, which cannot be unlocked until a person leaves the courts building.

The policy is meant to prevent people from disrupting court proceedings and to keep people from taking photos of witnesses, which could be used to intimidate them.

Court administrator Joseph Evers says the policy keeps the phones in the hands of their owners, so the courts won't be liable for them.

The court previously kept visitors' phones — about 3,500 a day — in a lock box, and returned them as visitors left the building.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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