Jail cell prison generic

(FOX CAROLINA) -- The Federal Bureau of Prisons conducted a successful pilot test of cell phone jamming technology this week at Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia. 

This was done in an attempt to jam illegal cell phone usage in prisons. 

Contraband cell phones have proven to be the most dangerous weapon in prisons today.

Inmates have been prosecuted for using cell phones to order murders, incite violence, orchestrate escapes, blackmail and extort money from innocent victims and run criminal enterprises from inside prison walls.

Since 2016, SCDC has confiscated more than 19,000 cell phones and accessories from inside its institutions. This technology would eliminate any cell signal from leaving institutions, rending the phones useless.

The Federal Communications Commission regulates the airwaves, and a decades-old law prohibits jamming the signals used by cell phones. Legislation introduced in Congress last month by Sen. Tom Cotton, Sen. Lindsay Graham and Rep. David Kustoff would change that and allow prisons to jam the signals.

“Now it’s time for Congress to pass the legislation that will allow South Carolina and the rest of the nation to use it to keep the public safe,” Stirling said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

The test was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and SCDC. This is the first time this technology has been tested at a state corrections facility. The Bureau of Prisons has tested the technology twice in federal institutions.

“I want to thank Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Beth Williams and U.S. Attorney General for South Carolina Sherri Lydon for working with state officials on this very serious public safety threat,” Stirling said. “Now it’s time for Congress to give us the ability to use this technology to make the prisons safer for everyone. It is long overdue.”

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