Can prisons interfere with cell phone signals in prisoners’ homes at will?

WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives David Kustoff (TN-08) and William Timmons (SC-04) today introduced HR 1954 – the 2019 Telephone Congestion Reform Act. Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Lindsey Graham (R -SC) identical legislation introduced on the Senate side. This bill deals with the use of contraband phones in state and state penitentiaries.

“Smuggling phones have been a major problem in prisons across the country, and it has long become out of date for Congress to take action and protect the public from criminals who continue their illegal activities behind bars. They use these phones to conduct drug operations, sex trafficking, and to organize escape operations that are devastating Have implications for public security and empower these criminals to live a life of crime, “said MP David Kustoff.” I am happy to introduce this important law with my colleagues and I look forward to its swift adoption.

“The Cellphone Jamming Reform Act of 2019 is a sensible solution to a very real problem. I am proud to support this bill,” said MEP William Timmons.

What does this calculation do:

Enables state and federal prisons to use signal jammer signals to affect cell phone signals in inmate homes. The state or federal agency that implements a fault system must report this use to the Bureau of Prisons, which has ultimate authority over the system.

This bill is not a mandate, but an option for state and federal prisons to introduce a blocking system that protects inmates and the general public.

Allows institutions to choose from a broad category of jamming technology, including managed access technology, surgical jamming technology, beacon technology, or any future technology that limits the use of contraband phones and that does not dictate the specific types of technology that must be met by the number of smuggled phones seized at different locations:

Federal prison office: 5,116 in 2016
Prisons in Tennessee: 2,293 in 2017
Arkansas Prisons: 1,550 in 2017
South Carolina Prisons: 4,500 in 2017
Georgia Prisons: 13,000 in 2014
California Prisons: 14,000 in 2017