South Carolina’s prisons director is asking the U.S. Attorney General for guidance on how to halt the flow of contraband cellphones behind bars.
The Associated Press reports state Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling wrote to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this month requesting support in efforts to jam cell signals in prisons.
“I respectfully again request your support for this important issue, and your help achieving our goal of ending contraband cell phones by allowing the jamming of cell phones,” the letter stated.
South Carolina corrections officials have been seeking the change for years, but are hampered by a 1934 law which only allows the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to sign off on jamming signals used by federal agencies and not states. But the cell phone industry opposes such a move, worried the jamming could bleed over onto neighboring properties.
But Stirling said the issue is getting worse. Last week, the state Attorney General’s Office announced dozens of arrests related to a meth ring operated inside two maximum-security prisons in South Carolina. Indictments claim the inmates used contraband phones to organize their operations. But state officials have focused on the potential danger ever since a then-captain at the Lee Correctional Institute was shot and gravely injured at his home in what investigators say was a plot organized by an inmate via phone.