British prisoners aren't as connected as they were last year - or prison wardens are losing the ability to find contraband mobiles. The figures come in a written answer to John McDonnell MP, who asked the question of the Secretary of State for Justice. The prison service has only been collecting national figures for the last …
Other approaches ?
I'd have thought they would want to block mobile phone signals in prisons. Maybe not in all prisons (e.g. open ones). They certainly should be doing this in high security ones, as enabling a prisoner in a high security prison to communicate without appropriate monitoring and control threatens the lives and interests of prison staff and others.
Jamming? Well that's illegal, so in order to do this will require a law change. After all you need to make sure it doesn't affect signals outside of the prison.
So, block all signals getting out, so, were talking about all open areas, windows, stonework etc etc covered in metal. Of course then the Radio mics will still have to work, so that means a big internal infrastructure upgrade.
A big case of easier said than done.
What about the charger?
Phones are getting easier to hide, but the chargers are still (comparatively) pretty hefty.
Reminds me of Shameless where Paddy's hiding the phone and charger for Mimi to smuggle into prison - "Right, that's the phone, now for the charger".
Turn their cages into Faraday ones.
memo to all future prison builders:
Incorporate enough metal, in the right places, into your designs so that they are Faraday cages.
That would solve it, and mean one less item to be found in the various cavities.
We don't do cages over here
And while we still so many fine examples of Victorian prisons, we like to keep them in use. Obviously as heritage items, removing original features in the course of renovation is not really the done thing
I suppose revisting the idea of prison hulks in the form of converted ships and barges as "accomodation" might provide enough of a metal enclosure.
New scanning technique for phones...
Most phones and other contraband is normally hidden, well, up a prisoners bum. For this reason most prisons will now have an electric scanning chair, which a prisoner sits in and the chair can detect metal objects up there. Prisoners are normally scanned on entrance to prison, such as on return from court or start of a sentance, but they are also scanned when suspected fo having a phone and also selected for random scanning.
As for the chargers, most prisoners have the correct charger end with their phone, but just with bare wires from it. There is then say 1 or 2 chargers per spur which is passed around in a coffee or cereal box or even swung from window to window. these chargers also have bare wires so to charge just twist the ends of the wires together and you have a universal charger. Phones are very valuble as they offer the only secure means of communication.
Contraband is often "hidden" in a guard's bag and sold to the prisoners:
is a fairly important part of the charging process, why isn't access to that more tightly controlled? I would have thought, from a simple safety perspective, prisoners should not be able to gain direct access to any electricity, or wires! Nevermind stopping phone chargers.
It shouldn't be too much of a stretch to determine power draw, throughout a controlled space, for all authorised items, and detect when anything additional is added in a section.
As always, it's mostly about money.......
From my experience (!) smuggling phones into prison is less about secure communication, and more about avoiding the very high cost of using the proper Prison phone facilities.
Ensuring they are not smuggled in increases a valuable revenue stream for the prison service!
Dont get me started
They put a phone in every room (not allowed to call them CELLS as that's no PC).Had to give them all gloves the other day because of the cold!!!! To charge mobiles they get the battery's they buy on canteen for their radios & electric shavers join them together take apart the fly lead for the tv apart and charger the battery that way.Dont get me started about Pets IE snakes etc on wings or PS3's & Wii's pinball & arcade machines for them to use on association.
Maybe the prison service could have some femtocells where connecting phones not on a whitelist get directed to some premium rate service where the lags can hear weather forecasts for places they cannot visit.
Why is it even an issue ?
Does it really matter if they have mobile phones or not ? I don't see what all the fuss is about, they can make payphone calls if they want to and have private meetings with visitors.