Congressman takes steps to reintroduce Cellphone Jamming Reform Act

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Posted by jammer from the Health category at 20 Feb 2024 02:43:09 am.
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Congressman David Kustoff (TN-08) has reintroduced the Cellphone Jamming Reform Act of 2022, which targets the problem of contraband cell phone use in federal and state prison facilities. This bill would authorize state and federal prisons to utilize cell phone jamming systems in order to protect inmates, guards, and the public.

The companion bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), with support from Representatives William Timmons (SC-04), Tom Rice (SC-07), Ralph Norman (SC-05), and Jeff Duncan (SC-03) as co-sponsors.

The statement made by Congressman Kustoff emphasized that inmates in correctional facilities nationwide are utilizing contraband cell phones to conduct illegal activities, such as running drug operations, facilitating sex trafficking, and coordinating escapes.Congress must take decisive action to address the problem of contraband cell phones, as they enable dangerous criminals to perpetuate illegal activities from within prison walls, posing a threat to public safety.It brings me great pleasure to team up with Senators Cotton and Graham in reintroducing this essential bill that will safeguard our communities in West Tennessee and the United States.

Inmates have employed illicit cell phones to coordinate illegal activities beyond the confines of correctional facilities, such as orchestrating attacks on adversaries, engaging in sex trafficking, running drug enterprises, and conducting business deals.Despite the potential of cellphone signal jamming devices to stop this, the Federal Communications Act prohibits facilities from implementing this technology. The proposed bill seeks to remedy this situation, ensuring that criminals can serve their sentences without posing a threat to public safety.

The Correctional Leaders Association, the Council of Prison Locals, the American Correctional Association, the National Sheriff's Association, and the Major County Sheriffs of America stand behind this legislation.

In both federal and state prison facilities, the prevalence of contraband cell phones is widespread. Inmates have exploited these unauthorized devices to engage in a range of illegal activities, such as orchestrating targeted attacks on individuals beyond prison confines, operating illicit drug networks, conducting unlawful business transactions, facilitating sex trafficking, and organizing escapes that pose risks to correctional staff, fellow inmates, and members of the public.

The South Carolina Prison Incident was ignited by the presence of cell phones and contraband. A brawl ensued inside the Lee Correctional Institution near Bishopville, South Carolina, as rival gangs clashed over territorial control. The use of cell phones to trade contraband further fueled the intensity of the confrontation. Tragically, this violent incident resulted in the deaths of seven inmates and left 20 others injured.

In 2013, Lt. Osvaldo Albarati, a correctional officer at the Bureau of Prisons, was killed for disrupting an illicit contraband cell phone business. The inmate responsible for his assassination used a contraband cell phone to contact the gunman, as detailed in the indictment.

In 2018, a report exposed how an FCI Fort Dix inmate in New Jersey orchestrated a murder and assault through a smuggled phone within the prison. Another inmate at the same facility faced charges for possessing and disseminating child pornography using a contraband phone.

Additionally, six other inmates confessed to their involvement in criminal activities.

Contraband cell phones not only enable violent criminals to carry out their illicit activities but also have wider implications. The Wall Street Journal reported that Martin Shkreli, the disgraced pharmaceutical executive sentenced to seven years for securities fraud, managed to make decisions at Phoenixus AG by using a contraband cell phone.
June 2023
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