Contraband in correctional facilities includes illegal items, such as drugs and weapons, or items prohibited in the area being monitored, such as cell phones. Prison staff needs to be able to detect and confiscate contraband quickly to prevent drug abuse, violence and the commission of further crimes.
Drugs and weapons pose a particular risk in prison environments, where there is a high potential for violence and drug abuse. Inmates can use cell phones to help smuggle in drugs and weapons, organize attempts to escape, or order crimes to be committed inside or outside the prison. NIJ funds the development of technologies — and technical standards for these products — to alert prisons to the presence of drugs, metallic and non-metallic weapons, cell phones, and other contraband.