Report On Prison Phone Jamming


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The use of contraband cell phones by inmates in the U.S. correctional facilities has increased amny fold in past few years. Approximately 2,811 phone were sized from the correctional facilities in California in 2008 as against 261 cell phones in 2006. This shows a 10 fold jump. Other state have also seen similar jumps. In Mayland facilities the sizer was 1,700 cell phones in 2009 as against 1,200 in 2008. This has created concern among correctional administrators across the country.

In order to find solution National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NITA) installed a test cell phone jamming system at the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland in Feb 2010. The results of test have come out. The results of the test conducted were released  on 12th May 2010. The NTIA report relates only to the test at the facility, and does not make any conclusions about wider implementation.

The NTIA has issued a document* for seeking public comment on technologies that are available to prevent contraband cell phone use in prisons. The notice is as follows:

“Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) seeks comment on technical approaches to preventing contraband cell phone use in prisons. Congress tasked NTIA with developing, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a plan to investigate and evaluate how wireless jamming, detection and other technologies might be utilized for law enforcement and corrections applications in Federal and State prison facilities. To assist in its evaluation of these technologies, NTIA requests information from the public on technologies that would significantly reduce or eliminate contraband cell phone use without negatively affecting commercial wireless and public safety services (including 911 calls and other.”

Comments are requested on or before June 11, 2010 and will be available on NTIA’s

Web site for viewing at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/ contrabandcellphones/.

The comments were sought on following tiopics:

http://mddailyrecord.com/2010/05/12/officials-test-supports-prison-phone-jamming/

*http://www.ntia.doc.gov/frnotices/2010/FR_ContrabandCellPhonesNOI_05122010.pdf

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