Cellphone Smuggling Big Business In Prison: Is Jamming The Answer?

Cellphone Smuggling Big Business In Prison: Is Jamming The Answer?

Cell phone jammers are nothing new. They've been around in one form or another for years now, and even though they aren't exactly legal in some scenarios, the technology is certainly there to block calls from going in or out. Now, Britain's largest jail has been told that it should consider instituting that very tech at its facilities. Why would a prison--a place where you'd think no cell phones could enter--need jamming technology?

David Jamieson, chairman of Wandsworth prison's Independent Monitoring Board, has determined that "illegal phones fuel prison drug trading, bullying and gang problems." Amazingly, we're learning that illegal cell phones behind bars are big business; for wealthier inmates, phones costing as much as £400 can be smuggled in illegally, and that a total of 7000 phones were seized in 2008 after they were brought in via illicit means. It's not hard to imagine what kinds of problems having phones in prison could bring, but culling the problem could be easier said than done.



The Prison Service has said that blocking signals is "technically challenging and not quick, simple or cheap to implement." In fact, it would cost over £250,000to equip an entire prison with signal jamming tech, and while that could theoretically pay for itself over time, it's still a tough investment to swallow. Maybe they should just relocate their prisons to area of weak coverage? We kid, we kid.
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Whenever they find someone with one, they should cut their hands off. Cell phone use will taper off quickly.

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But how are prisoners supposed to update their Twitter pages?

One wonders how these phones are smuggled in the first place. Baking the phone into a cake is right out, unless you're in a Three Stooges short. Narcotics sometimes make their way into jails orally-- a loved one kisses the inmate and transfers the packet of drugs, and tiny bits of whatever they had for lunch, into the prisoner's mouth. But even the smallest cell phones are a little too large for that, unless you're having a conjugal visit from Grace McDaniels.

No, a much more flexible part of the body must be used, and I suspect that many of these phones are carried in rectally. As we might say, "There's a crapp for that." And you honestly do not want to see the coverage map!

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