Federal officials: Prison cellphone jamming test a success

Officials say they were able to shut down phone signals inside a prison cell, while phones about 20 feet away worked normally


By Meg Kinnard 
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Federal officials say they conducted a successful test earlier this year of a jamming technology some hope will help combat the threat posed by inmates with smuggled cellphones.

A report obtained Friday by The Associated Press details the January 17 test of micro-jamming technology at a federal prison in Cumberland, Maryland. Officials say they were able to shut down phone signals inside a prison cell, while phones about 20 feet away worked normally.

In this April 10, 2009, file photo, Correctional Officer Jose Sandoval inspects one of the more than 2,000 cell phones confiscated from inmates at California State Prison, Solano in Vacaville, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
In this April 10, 2009, file photo, Correctional Officer Jose Sandoval inspects one of the more than 2,000 cell phones confiscated from inmates at California State Prison, Solano in Vacaville, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Prisons officials have for years spoken about the dangers cellphones pose in the hands of inmates, who can use them to continue their criminal endeavors behind bars. Wireless industry groups oppose jamming, saying it can interfere with legal cell signals nearby.

Officials say they're using the data for more evaluation to develop recommendations for future plans.

Associated Press
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