The National Geographic’s Hard Time TV series most recent episode is about smuggled prison cell phones. It’s called Cellphone War and below are some facts from the show. The meshDETECT secure cell phone service addresses the legitimate inmate desire for family contact and therefore reduces the contraband value of smuggled prison cell phones.
CELL PHONE WAR FACTS:
Did you know that the ownership of a cell phone behind bars is prohibited in both state and federal facilities in the United States? Could you survive hard time without yours?
Cell phones allow inmates to contact friends and family but also gives them the ability to orchestrate crimes.
A system called Cell Hound is currently being tested to detect cell phone activity within prisons, allowing administrators to pinpoint the location of a phone being used.
Prison officials believe that the only surefire way to combat cell phone usage is to use signal jammers within the prison walls — an action that is prohibited by law.
Smuggling cell phones is a problem that occurs not only in the United States but also worldwide.
Cell phones can enter the system with the help of visitors as well as prison employees.
In prison, cell phones can range from $300 to $1,000.
One prison in Georgia is one of the few in the country that allows the use of a cell phone detection system. Its use allows officials not only to detect cell phones, but to find any other contraband that is stored within the device such as tobacco, weapons or narcotics.
Cell phone detection systems can differentiate between signals in “safe” areas and calls placed from inside designated off-limits areas, such as cell blocks.
President Obama signed a law in 2010 which makes cell phone possession a felony in federal prisons, punishable by up to one extra year on an inmate’s original sentence.
In the first four months of 2010, the Federal Bureau of Prisons workers confiscated over 1,000 cell phones.
States are stiffening penalties for officers who help prisoners get cell phones.
Texas officials claim they have the nation’s worst contraband cell phone problem, punishing inmates with sentences of up to 40 years for cell phone ownership.
Maryland and Virginia are the first states to train dogs to detect cell phones.