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Analysis of Managed Access Technology in an Urban Deployment: Baltimore City Jail Complex

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2015
61 pages
This study examined managed access system (MAS) technology operating at a correctional facility in an urban setting (Baltimore City Jail Complex), describes the use of Distributed Antenna System technology (DAS), and discusses how MAS technology using DAS contrasts with managed access that uses macro-cellular technology.
The report emphasizes that this study was not a product evaluation, but rather a documentation of the use of MAS in an urban jail. MAS technology allows the completion of authorized calls placed from approved phone numbers (numbers that have been vetted and entered into a database) while blocking calls to or from devices or numbers that have not been pre-approved. This study concludes that although MAS had a significant impact within the jail complex, other factors unrelated to the technology, such as policy changes, also contributed to the overall decline of illegal cell phone use throughout the jail system. The study also determined that a good working relationship with nearby cellular carriers is critical. In addition, the study concluded that MAS can be implemented in an urban setting. Technology such as DAS allows operators to refine and control system coverage within tightly constrained environments. Retrofitting an existing correctional facility has unique logistical challenges when deploying it in areas where inmates reside and securing the system infrastructure from sabotage. This report notes that cellular MAS technology only addresses cellular communications and cannot prevent the use of non-cellular wireless capabilities in modern cellular devices. 27 figures, 2 tables, and appended examples of contraband cell phone activity and the features of managed access technology

Date Published: September 1, 2015