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Archive for December, 2009

More Ways to Eliminate Cell Phone Contraband

December 1st, 2009

Permitting cell phone jamming in prisons has become a hot topic in attempting to crack down on the thousands of cell phone smuggled into U.S. prisons each year. Essentially, a cell phone jammer blocks the transmission of radio signals within a designated area. Controversy remains around if the cell phone jamming systems will stay confined to the walls of the prison or also block signals for civilians or government agencies in the surrounding area needing to contact 911.

Confiscated Cell Phones

In addition to this, reports say cell phone jammers are not 100 percent effective, leaving corners where inmates could potentially find a signal and use a cell phone to continue criminal activity behind bars.


Currently 20 governors have signed a letter to support legislation in Congress to allow states to jam cell phones in prison.


Here are two ways prison design and technology planning can help alleviate the contraband:


Create a strategic inmate traffic flow


Visitors and weekend inmates are the leading sources of cell phone contraband. A justice facility design that controls the movement of inmates throughout the facility and eliminates the interaction with this group has with inmates will drive down levels of cell phone contraband.


As an example reported by Correctional News:


White County Law Enforcement Center, in Arkansas, serves as a judicial, enforcement and detention justice facility. Operators needed a building that provided an operational flow encompassing safety and security along with accessibility to the public. During the design process planners established two major interior traffic flows: one for the public and one for justice to cut down the interaction between visitors and weekend inmates. The justice center realized lower rates of contraband as a result of the design.


Advanced communication technologies eliminate physical inmate contact with visitors


Video conferencing technologies such as Jpay, ATM looking kiosks, allow inmates and visitors to interact without meeting physically which lead to cell phones within prisons.  


Check out our next blog. We will review JPay and provide a complete run-down of the technology and its cost-saving benefits to both inmates and prisons.

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