Prisons will try to jam cell phones

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COLUMBIA --- Hoping to crack down on illegal activity in prisons, South Carolina Department of Corrections officials might be committing some of their own.

Federal law prohibits state or local law enforcement from using cell-phone jamming devices. On Tuesday, officials will be shown the devices provided by CellAntenna Corp., a Florida-based company, at the Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville.

Prison officials want to jam cell phones that are smuggled into prisons and used to conduct drug deals, intimidate witnesses, extort money and run gangs.

"The federal government knows that blocking technology can eliminate this threat without disrupting other calls," Corrections Director Jon Ozmint said in a statement.

Prison officials have asked state and federal lawmakers, law enforcement officials and the FCC to watch the demonstration.

"The FCC has not said whether it is considering a reversal, but they have been invited," said Josh Gelinas, spokesman for the department. A spokesperson for the FCC did not return calls.

Howard Melamed, CEO of CellAntenna, said South Carolina is the first state government to allow his company to demonstrate the technology. He said opponents fear their devices will block all cell phone signals.

"We're going to prove the fact that only the room will be jammed," he said.

Reach Sarita Chourey at (803) 727-4257 or sarita.chourey@morris.com.

Comments (12) Add comment
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Reality
3
Points
Reality 09/05/08 - 06:10 am
0
0
These criminals don't have

These criminals don't have rights, they have demonstrated they can not abide by the rules of society, block away....

CyndiCk
0
Points
CyndiCk 09/05/08 - 06:25 am
0
0
Don't they search visitors?

Don't they search visitors? The phones are getting inside somehow.

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 09/05/08 - 08:03 am
0
0
IMO the idea of blocking

IMO the idea of blocking cell phones is a good one, not just in prisons but in ALL PUBLIC PLACES.

pofwe
5
Points
pofwe 09/05/08 - 08:14 am
0
0
What the HELL are any

What the HELL are any prisoners doing with a telephone? No wonder they break back into jail, hell its their locale of social & business contacts.

amazed1
0
Points
amazed1 09/05/08 - 08:30 am
0
0
prisoners should not have

prisoners should not have direct contact with visitors.Anyone trying to pass contraband to prisoners should be allowed an extended visit.

426Hemi
0
Points
426Hemi 09/05/08 - 09:04 am
0
0
Where's the ACLU? This is an

Where's the ACLU? This is an outrage! Denying our pathetic prison population their rights to conduct illegal activities from the pokey. Curious what J4, Shivas and the other "Back in the Day" trendsetters will say.

happythoughts
25
Points
happythoughts 09/05/08 - 11:05 am
0
0
Stop visitors and mail from

Stop visitors and mail from coming in. They need to do the time in solitary

pauldrake
0
Points
pauldrake 09/05/08 - 11:15 am
0
0
the officers bring them

the officers bring them in.many know this trash from the steet.many officers do the work simply to get paid,and could care less about anything else.

FedupwithAUG
0
Points
FedupwithAUG 09/05/08 - 09:55 pm
0
0
how do they keep these phones

how do they keep these phones charged?

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 09/06/08 - 09:36 am
0
0
Where there's a will, there's

Where there's a will, there's a way, FedupwithAUG.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 09/06/08 - 04:18 pm
0
0
If these [filtered word]'s in jail were

If these [filtered word]'s in jail were doing hard labor for their punishment the way they should be, they wouldn't have half the problems in prison they have now. They would be to tired. Confinement means nothing to these criminals and they dont mind going back if they get caught again. It's still easier for their pathetic selves than to do the right thing!!! And those prisoner advocates and officials who condone this instead of changing it are ignorant idiots and you would change your tune if oen of these criminals got out and hurt one of your children. If prisons were actually horrible places, people would not want to go back and would straighten up!!!!!We need more sherrif Shapiro's and others like him in charge to fix this screwed up system!!!!!!

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 09/06/08 - 04:18 pm
0
0
If these [filtered word]'s in jail were

If these [filtered word]'s in jail were doing hard labor for their punishment the way they should be, they wouldn't have half the problems in prison they have now. They would be to tired. Confinement means nothing to these criminals and they dont mind going back if they get caught again. It's still easier for their pathetic selves than to do the right thing!!! And those prisoner advocates and officials who condone this instead of changing it are ignorant idiots and you would change your tune if oen of these criminals got out and hurt one of your children. If prisons were actually horrible places, people would not want to go back and would straighten up!!!!!We need more sherrif Shapiro's and others like him in charge to fix this screwed up system!!!!!!

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