Smuggling cellphones into prison is a problem, where according to the FCC’s data, more than 8,700 cellphones were recovered in federal prisons between 2012 and 2014. Obviously being able to communicate with the outside world is one of the luxuries that inmates aren’t usually afforded, especially if it means that they get to continue their criminal operations even in jail.

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However it seems that the Department of Justice might have an answer to that problem: phone jammers. A report was released back in June (via Motherboard) where they claim to have successfully tested the use of a phone jammer that would block signals from smuggled phones from being going out.

As pointed out by Motherboard, jammers represent a cheap solution to the problem, where a quick search on Google yields results of jammers being sold for as cheap as $119 to $650. Plus they are also readily and easily available for purchase online. This sounds like it could be a good answer, but there are some who remain skeptical about such a proposal.

Speaking to Motherboard in a phone interview, Ben Levitan, a North Carolina-based wireless communication expert who has advised correction facilities, he suggested that this could hint at cronyism. “Allowing jamming technology is a very slippery slope, and once that door is opened we can never turn back. I’ve been in this business for 30 years. If someone is advocating for new technology they probably know someone who sells equipment or has a piece themselves.”

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