Columbia, South Carolina-South Carolina plans to disrupt cell phone signals in prisons to prevent criminals from committing further crimes. There is a major problem with the plan: it is illegal.
The struggle to stop the use of mobile phones in prisons-some experts say the device has become a new form of cash-has led states to experiment with old-fashioned cell scanners, sophisticated body scanners, and even trained dogs to track batteries and storage chip.
South Carolina State Warden Jon Ozmint (Jon Ozmint) hopes to complement this strategy with existing technology that blocks cell signaling.
The Federal Communications Act hinders the implementation of this bill, which prevents states from using jammers or otherwise disrupting federal radio waves.
The Federal Communications Commission can authorize federal agencies to use such jammers. However, state and local law enforcement agencies have no such regulations.
Ozmint, who has managed 28 prisons in South Carolina for the past five years, said: “This is an example of how the rules fail to keep up with technological development.” “The bad federal government is talking about hypocrisy rather than reason,’Oh, well, we can Use this technology, but poor small states cannot use the same technology to protect their citizens.”
Experts say that not using cell phone jammer can cause serious consequences. Perhaps the most obvious example occurred last summer, when Carl Lackl of Baltimore identified the suspect in the shooting.
Authorities said the 38-year-old father was shot at home after the suspect used his mobile phone to arrange the attacker to prison.
In South Carolina, Ozmint blamed illegal mobile phones for most escape attempts in the state. In a 2005 case, mobile phones were found among two prisoners who escaped from Colombia’s highest security prison by hiding in a garbage truck.
In Texas, prison officials were arrested this week on the death row inmate’s mother, who used the mobile phone smuggled to her convicted son to pay for a few minutes.
Authorities said the prisoner shared the phone with nine other prisoners and called the Senator to say that he knew the name of the Senator’s daughter.
The governor’s office said correctional officers were bribed to bring cell phones to prisoners.
John Moriarty, the inspector-general of the Texas prison system, said his team is investigating 700 incidents of smuggling mobile phones out of nearly 160,000 inmates in the state, including a police officer carrying out an attack on his prisoner. X-ray examination. Photos of the phone and charger on the body.
In some areas, prisoners found using mobile phones may be sentenced to years in prison or recognized for good behavior. Several states have made it illegal for prison staff and visitors to call prisoners.
If officials can use jammers to block unanswered calls inside the prison walls, as Ozmint hopes to do in South Carolina, despite giving him this power, it may be challenged.
FCC spokesperson Robert Kenny said: “When we think it is worth it or there is a valid reason, we have no right to grant it.” “Congress is likely to take some measures.”
Ozmint has invited federal officials and state legislative representatives to the Lieber Correctional Facility in South Carolina within a few months, where interference equipment manufacturer CellAntenna Corp. will demonstrate the technology.
These devices prevent the signal from the signal tower from reaching the phone and effectively block all calls. The jammer will not block calls from satellite phones, but smuggling them into prison will double the cost and trouble.
It is not clear how much it will cost to equip a South Carolina prison with jammers, although officials say they will first concentrate on installing the technology in prisons with maximum security.
Critics say that it is impossible to confine interference technology to one or two buildings, and that the use of this technology may affect nearby people using telephones.
“As long as you approve these jammers, you can prevent emergency calls,” said Joe Fallon, a spokesperson for the wireless industry association CTIA-Wireless Association. “You use signal jammers to disrupt critical communications, life and death.”
Zack Kendall, a security expert in the North Carolina prison system, also expressed concern. He said he did not know whether his prison would use the signal shielding function because it could disrupt internal radio communications.
Howard Melamed, managing director of CellAntenna in Coral Springs, Florida, said that jammers can be angled to prevent cell phones from working inside the prison walls, but people outside the door can call without any problems. phone.
Melamed said: “It’s no different from turning on the lights and making sure they don’t spread outside a specific area.”
Ozminte said that due to the increase in the prison population and the tight budget, his officials have become stretched. He believes that this technology will help him run a safer and more efficient prison system.
Ozminte said: “As long as there are prisoners and employees in prison, as long as people are not in prison, people will smuggle in prison.” “This is a threat that can definitely be eliminated.”