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Technology in Corrections - Cell Phones

"Cell phones are a continuous threat inside correctional facilities; here’s how you can find and stop this type of contraband before it becomes a problem in your prison or jail"

"This guidebook provides correctional administrators with a brief, yet comprehensive and informative, view of cell phone forensic technologies. It reviews the evolving role of cell phone forensics in correctional institutions and presents issues to consider when acquiring and implementing these technologies. It also addresses the opportunities and challenges involved in selecting technologies and implementing them in correctional settings" (p. 8). Six chapters follow an executive summary: statement of the problem—reasons for the importance of cell phone forensics; what agencies need to know about cell phone forensics; technology; establishing a cell phone forensics capacity—assessing resource needs based on historical and projected data, funding needed for start-up and ongoing operations, issues related to procuring technology tools, software and hardware, photo documenting, staff resources required, training requirements, and physical site requirements; implementation—legal issues and case law, law enforcement coordination, prioritizing evidence to prevent backlogs, evidence collection and retention issues, importance of policies and procedures, and lessons learned and success stories; and conclusion.

Cell Phone Forensics in a Correctional Setting: Guidebook Cover

"A widespread technology that allows people to connect with anyone, anywhere, has created concerns for corrections officials. The use of inexpensive, disposable cell phones has changed the age-old cat-and-mouse game of controlling whom inmates communicate with in the outside world and is creating serious problems for public safety officials."

"Cell phones can be an annoyance in public, but in prisons they are a nightmare. Inmates can surreptitiously deal drugs, intimidate witnesses, run gangs, and manage criminal enterprises. In a period of just over three weeks, a single South Carolina facility detected more than 35,000 phone calls and texts. In March 2010, Capt. Robert Johnson, an officer at Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C., was shot in his own home six times in the chest and stomach and severely injured. It was, as stated in an April Op-Ed piece in USA Today by Governor Nikki Haley and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, in retaliation for being good at his job in keeping contraband, particularly cell phones, out of the facility. The hit was ordered over a cell phone."

Sanders, Frank H., Johnk, Robert T., Drocella, Edward F. 

This report describes emission spectrum and time domain measurements of a contraband wireless device micro-jammer that was operated temporarily in four Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) bands at a Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) at Cumberland, Maryland. The four jammed CMRS bands were between 730 MHz and 2.155 GHz. The micro-jammer targeted CMRS service indoors, in a single medium-security prison cell. Spectrum measurements of the jammer emissions were performed at two places inside the targeted prison cell and at two non-targeted nearby locations outdoors. Jammer emission measurements were performed at each location with multiple measurement bandwidths and detectors across a frequency range of 300 MHz to 4.34 GHz. Measurements at each location were performed twice, with the jammer device on versus off, so as to show the relative power levels of the jamming signal versus the ambient CMRS signals at each location. Aggregate emissions from multiple micro-jammer devices such as would be required to cover an entire prison facility were not measured. Jammer emissions are presented in units of power per unit bandwidth in measurement system circuitry; a table for conversion of those data to units of incident field strength in space is provided.

"An inmate escaped from a Kansas prison allegedly with the aid of a phone smuggled in by an accomplice.1 In Texas, a death row inmate charged with killing four persons, including two teenage girls, allegedly used a wireless phone from within the prison to threaten a prominent state senator and his family.2 These incidents serve as just two examples where individuals used cell phones to facilitate criminal acts from within a correctional institution."

The FCC has made it a top priority to put an end to illegal cell phone use by inmates in prisons. Contraband cell phones have been used by inmates to arrange the murder of witnesses and public safety officers, traffic in drugs, and manage criminal enterprises. This illegal practice jeopardizes the safety of America’s communities and public safety officials."

This paper “shares insights from the experiences of five jurisdictions working to implement different forms of HIT connectivity. Although there is no turnkey solution, there are lessons to be learned. [The] intent here is to share these lessons with those interested in improving health care in jail environments and with jurisdictions that are looking for ways to create connectivity in their communities” (p. 5). Sections of this report cover: bridging the islands between jail management systems, jail health systems, and community health systems; three guiding principles for connectivity—policy, resources, and champions; and HIT (health information technology) connectivity in Orlando County (FL), Multnomah County (OR), New York City, Hampden County (MA), and Fayette County (KY).

Jails and Health Cover

"[S]trategies, best practices, recommendations and ideas for successful IT planning and implementation" (p. 3) are provided. This guide is divided into the following parts: seven facts to know before reading this document; build the foundation; conduct a needs analysis; create a project plan; acquire the technology; implement the technology; and maintain the technology. Descriptions of information technology and a glossary are also included.

Law Enforcement Tech Guide: How to Plan, Purchase and Manage Technology (Successfully!) Cover

This paper will address the use of smartphone applications installed on a client’s personal device, or a device provided to the client, to be used in support of the community supervision process.


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