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Cell Phone Jammers Testing in Maryland Prisons

Today the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland, is conducting a test to prove that cell phone jammers really can help. The Associated Press cites a governor spokesperson who says state officials are trying to show Congress how the technology can prevent inmates from using the contraband devices to commit crimes.

Prisoners using cell phones to organize crimes outside of jail is becoming a more common occurrence around the country. The AP reports that in July, corrections directors in 26 states submitted a petition to the FCC asking federal regulators' permission to jam cell phone signals inside state penitentiaries. Non-governmental radio communications fall under the jurisdiction of the FCC while NTIA has authority over federal uses of the radio spectrum.

Installing cell phone jammers in prisons is not a new idea. While it would seem like the most effective way to prevent the use of contraband cell phone among inmates, they also run the risk of blocking signals areas adjacent to the prison.

While waiting for action on their request, many prisons have been using specially trained dogs to sniff out cell phones.

Read the full story here.

  • bustapr
    The jammers seem like a better idea, because cell phone calls in prisons are from prison employees who rent their phones to the convicts. The employees give their phones to the guys and get the phone back when their done. Dogs wont be able to prevent that. Phone jammers however prevent every call made. There are not much downsides except for the blockage range outside the prison, but who lives next to a prison?
    Reply
  • Onus
    Stop playing games. A prisoner caught using a cell phone should be put down like an animal. GAME OVER.
    Reply
  • amabhy
    You can bet they aint using AT&T in there.
    Reply
  • WheelsOfConfusion
    jtt283Stop playing games. A prisoner caught using a cell phone should be put down like an animal. GAME OVER.Yeah! Why wait until they're even caught, though? Obviously if they're in jail in the first place they're worth less than other people and we should start summarily executing them. Prisons are overcrowded, after all.
    Reply
  • davendork
    WheelsOfConfusionYeah! Why wait until they're even caught, though? Obviously if they're in jail in the first place they're worth less than other people and we should start summarily executing them. Prisons are overcrowded, after all.If you do this, no disturbed women could fall in love with them. Oh, daddy.
    Reply
  • JohnnyLucky
    This whole thing sounds really weird.
    Reply
  • headscratcher
    Aren't prisons usually surrounded by large open areas? The two that I have seen were.
    Reply
  • drksilenc
    well if prisons wernt full of electronics i would just say use a short range emp then they would just be fried
    Reply
  • joebob2000
    This is dumb, they should be setting up man-in-the-middle transceivers; like a Femtocell device that lets them listen in on the calls. Then, the inmates will think they are being slick calling their felonious buddies, but they will only be setting themselves up. Bonus points if the bust makes the guy on the outside look like a snitch, whom is then reunited with his pal behind bars for some 'thug justice'. Maybe then people will think twice before committing crimes or being associated in any way with those that do.
    Reply
  • Honis
    drksilencwell if prisons wernt full of electronics i would just say use a short range emp then they would just be friedYes, because no prison actually uses computers or complicated electronics.

    Blocking the signal completely is the easiest most effective way of disabling the cell phones. It may not be the cheapest (compared to a cell phone sniffing dog?), but it stops it all. Of course the inmates will find an alternative or revert to older slower methods, but at least it's not instant access to your leader or members.
    Reply