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California Prisons Aim to Disconnect Unwanted Calls

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2013
2 pages
This article from the Spring 2013 edition of TechBeat discusses California’s efforts to stop the use of contraband cellphones by prison inmates.
In 2011, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) confiscated over 15,000 contraband cellphones within the State’s correctional system, a significant increase from the 2,900 cellphones confiscated in 2006. This article discusses efforts by the CDCR to stop the use of contraband cellphones by prison inmates. Contraband cellphones have been found to be a problem in correctional systems because they can be used to compromise the integrity of the system, they can be used to plan and facilitate an escape, they can be used to contact or gather intelligence on former victims, and they can be used to continue to operate criminal enterprises from inside the jail or prison. In 2011, CDCR several steps for dealing with the problem. These steps include the installing airport-style security on the outer perimeter of correctional facilities, increasing spontaneous searches, training and using more “sniffer” dogs, and the use of managed access technology to intercept calls made from contraband cellphones. Managed access technology, which allows only authorized phones to make calls, is different from jamming of cell phones which blocks all signals and is illegal in the United States.
Date Published: April 1, 2013