NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The Tennessee Justice Department renewed calls for action against smuggled phones.
According to a press release, Commissioner Tony Parker’s call for action comes after a report by the National Administration for Telecommunications and Information (NTIA). The report reports on the effectiveness of micro-jamming technology in blocking illegal cell phone signals in correctional facilities.
The report details the results of a Department of Justice / Federal Prison pilot test for micro-jamming technology at a state prison in South Carolina.
“This pilot program is a clear example of the jamming technology available, tested in a real corrective environment, and providing results that would disable illegal cell phones in Tennessee prisons without interfering with legal communication devices outside the target area.” Parker said in a statement.
Illegal cell phones in prisons have been used by drug smuggling networks to facilitate attacks and escape attempts and other illegal activities. In 2005, a contraband cell phone helped an inmate escape, eventually leading to the murder of Tennessee law enforcement officer Wayne “Cotton” Morgan.
The correction industry has repeatedly requested permission to use “jammer” technology to disable cell phones in prisons. Last year Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland) in the Tennessee General Assembly sponsored a resolution calling on the Federal Communications Commission to support the use of jamming technology in Tennessee prisons.
Commissioner Parker also said in a statement:
“Without exception, we” kicked “this can for a variety of reasons,” said Parker. The only solution to fixes has been managed access systems, which have proven time and again to be unreliable and very expensive. Other technologies, such as wands and cell phone detectors, pose many challenges in correctional environments. Parker says it is time to move forward with micro-jamming technology. All other technologies designed to help prisons eradicate the threats posed by illegal cell phones have failed, and it is time to put public safety first. “