Confiscated phones donated to domestic violence victims

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Nov 4, 2013 4:00 AM
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Peg Dierkers

(Harrisburg) -- Eleven-hundred cell phones confiscated by the state Department of Corrections are being donated to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The phones will be refurbished by the Verizon HopeLine so that domestic violence survivors can call for help, or put their lives back together.

Peg Dierkers, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says the program makes a difference.

"Even donating a cell phone can really mean life or death for someone who's experiencing violence at the hands of someone who supposedly loved them," she says.

Dierkers says the phones have all been confiscated from residents of the state's community corrections centers who didn’t follow the strict cell phone rules.

"So an infraction by a person serving time for a crime is, in the end, being put to good use for somebody who was victimized."

This is the first donation in what the department and anti-violence coalition hope will be an ongoing relationship.

Anyone can donate to the program.  Phones that cannot be re-used get recycled, and the proceeds are donated back to domestic violence programs.

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