Cellphone-sniffing dogs smell out contraband handsets

Cellphone-sniffing dogs smell out contraband handsets
Prison officials across the U.S. have been concerned about inmates getting their hands on banned cellphones. The worry is that the handsets will be used for nefarious purposes like running criminal businesses or working out plans for retaliation. Congress has been considering passing a bill that would allow cell signals to and from State prisons to get jammed by state or local officials. Currently, only the Feds can jam signals and the phone industry fears that legit calls and even emergency calls could accidentally get jammed. A bill could come before the Senate for voting by this fall. Meanwhile, New Jersey officials have been extremely agitated by the illegal use of cellphones by prisoners.

Last week, N.J. Attorney General Anne Milgram announced charges against 35 inmates for Cellphone possession with a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Of the 35 charged, all but 10 are reputed gang members and some of the calls intercepted were about inmates plotting retaliation against other gang members. "This is not what should be happening when we put criminals behind bars," observed Milgram.

Some states are not waiting for legislation. Some prisons are using scanning equipment hidden in chairs to find handsets. When cellphones were discovered hidden in snacks purchased by family members from vending machines in waiting areas, the machines were removed. Virginia and New Jersey have used specially trained dogs to help sniff out contraband phones. Inmates have hidden devices in light fixtures, body cavities and Bibles. Some have even tried to hide them in jars of peanut butter to throw off the dogs. In the last year, New Jersey prison authorities have confiscated 400 phones, 126 battery chargers, 9 batteries and 1 Bluetooth device.

source: MobileTechToday

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2 Comments

1. YouLostTheGame

Posts: 441; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Geez, one can train a dog to sniff out just about anything it seems! I would agree that there might be phone calls that get jammed from civilians and so I'm not too keen on the idea of out right jamming them, but the mentioned ideas of "scanning" and "sniffing" them out sounds ok to me. I also think that we need to incorporate a harsher system of punishment for such an obviously defiant offense. How about chopping off a hand in such cases where cellphones are discovered? Prison needs to be an actual place of punishment. It's turned into a walk in the park for a lot of hardened criminals. Some people don't get it until someone bashes them over the skull with a bat. And even then some people don't get it. So we'll just get rid of those people all together, and start to really cleanse the human race.

2. tokuzumi

Posts: 1800; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

[pulp fiction]He hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up his @$$....[/pulp fiction]

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