Oklahoma City-Thousands of illegal cell phones fall into the hands of prison inmates who have committed crimes using their devices. However, prison officials testified on Monday that the best means to prevent this, namely the use of cell phone jammer, was forbidden.
Prison officials in Oklahoma and South Carolina testified in front of the Oklahoma Senate Committee about the effectiveness of mobile phone jamming techniques. Federal law prohibits the government from using this technology, and the wireless industry opposes it.
Oklahoma has confiscated more than 5,200 smuggled mobile phones from prisoners over the past year. Mike Carpenter, security officer at the Oklahoma Corrections Bureau, said this was a decrease from the approximately 7,500 seen a year ago, but the problem remains a serious one.
According to Carpenter, the fighting between rival gangs at Oklahoma Prison last month expanded rapidly with the use of contraband mobile phones in close-range prisons at several other prisons. One prisoner was killed and more than 12 were injured.
"Do you think jams (on mobile phones) will work? No doubt," Carpenter said.
According to Gerard Keegan, a spokesman for the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, the wireless industry opposes the use of cell phone jamming signals in prisons, primarily because of concerns about blocking the signals of legitimate users.
Instead, he says, the group supports a "managed access" system that uses technology to determine signals from smuggled phones in prisons. He said the group also supports further testing of mobile phone jamming technologies.
Federal law that states may use signal jammer is still pending in the House and Senate.
"My proposal is simple," Republican Senator James Lankford told the Senate earlier this year. "Block mobile phones in prison to protect our guards, protect our families, and stop criminal activity in prison."
Last year, federal officials at a federal prison in Cumberland, Maryland, tested microjammers and said they could turn off the phone signal in a prison cell while the device was operating normally about 6 meters away. rice field.