Contraband Cell Phones in Correctional Facilities: Public Safety Impact and the Potential Implications of Jamming Technologies, Hearing Before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, First Session, July 15, 2009 [open pdf - 203KB]
From the opening statement of Mark Pryor: "These cell phones can do much more than make a call. They can take pictures, they can surf the Internet, they can send text and e-mail messages. While advances in technologies have benefited consumers, there's also a dark side. More and more, cell phones are being smuggled into prisons. Inmates are using them to continue criminal activity behind bars. In the worst cases, prisoners are organizing gang activity, intimidating witnesses, and ordering murders from their cells. This has to be stopped. Correctional officers have stepped up efforts to find such devices by using phone-sniffing dogs and searching prisoners, visitors, and prison workers. In addition, there is technology being deployed to detect and locate and monitor contraband cell phones in prison. But the question remains, are these tools enough? Some have suggested that wireless jamming technology would be effective in stopping the use of contraband cell phones. The FCC, however, has prohibited the testing of jammers by states as a violation of the Communications Act. In addition, groups have voiced concern that jamming may interfere with public safety and commercial wireless communications. There are also questions about how well jammers work and whether other technologies are better suited to address the problem." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Whitmire, Richard A. Mirgon, Gary D. Maynard, Jim Rubenstein,, Barbara Mikulski, Jay Salkini, Mark Pryor, Larry B. Norris, George M. Little, Anne Milgram, Christopher Guttman-McCabe, Mark Begich, John Thune, Tim Reisch, Jon Ozmint, Roger Werholz, and Harold W. Clarke.
S. Hrg. 111-482; Senate Hearing 111-482
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html