Costly cellphone jamming technology ditched in all prisons

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Posted by jammer from the Environment category at 24 Feb 2024 03:27:26 am.
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All cellphone jammers have been discreetly eliminated from prisons by Corrections.
The technology implemented in 2008-09 to deter inmates from using smuggled mobile phones has incurred expenses exceeding $17 million.
However, the utilization of jammers ceased in June due to their interference with newly implemented safety systems for prison guards.
Upon unveiling this initiative, Corrections Minister Phil Goff emphasized that the implementation of cellphone blocking in New Zealand prisons marks a significant advancement in preventing inmates from engaging in further criminal activities during their incarceration.
The Official Information Act was used to acquire recent information regarding the quantity of cellphones confiscated from the 18 prisons managed by Corrections in the last three years.
The Corrections staff discovered 626 cellphones and over 750 cellphone-related items, including batteries, chargers, SIM cards, and more, between January 2020 and November of the current year.

The removal of the cellphone jammer in June was the reason why inmates were found smuggling cellphones, according to Neil Beales, the Corrections chief custodial officer.
He stated that the jammers were discovered to disrupt recently implemented safety systems, including alarms designed for the safety of corrections officers.
Progress in mobile technology has led to jammers becoming more and more outdated.
According to Beales, the mentioned tool was just one among several others employed to prevent the use of cellphones in prisons. He further stated that there are still several more effective tools in use.
Cellsense devices are equipped with advanced technology to identify various metals commonly found in cellphones. Additionally, these devices possess screening and x-ray capabilities, along with the ability to detect metals using specially trained dogs.
Beale mentioned that certain individuals incarcerated resort to extreme and intricate measures to smuggle contraband into prisons, and we are consistently striving to outsmart the latest tactics employed for smuggling contraband into our correctional facilities.

Corrections has been exploring new and emerging technology to enhance existing systems, according to the statement. They have begun implementing full body imaging technology at various locations to identify hidden contraband on or inside individuals.
In 2018, the Corrections department acknowledged that cellphone jamming technology had caused a communication blackout near Rimutaka Prison, resulting in the inability to track residents of a child sex offender unit located outside the prison walls.
Inmates may utilize cellphones to exert influence on individuals beyond the prison walls, as well as to organize illicit activities such as drug transactions. Recently, nine prison employees at Rimutaka were suspended in May for suspected misconduct, which involved the smuggling of cellphones into the facility.
It comes as no surprise that Corrections has decided to abandon the use of signal blockers, as stated by Roger Brooking, a drug and alcohol counsellor and criminologist who has consistently voiced his concerns about the expenditure on this technology.
He stated that their functionality is nonexistent, and it has always been that way.
In my conversations with prisoners, they have mentioned that there are certain spots within the prison where the jamming devices do not work effectively. This has allowed inmates to make unauthorized phone calls for various purposes such as drug trafficking or communicating with their families.
June 2023
May 2023
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