Federal Bureau of Prisons Conducts Microjamming Tests
Thursday, January 25, 2018 | Comments

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), in collaboration with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the FCC, conducted a Jan. 17 test of microjamming technology at the Federal Correctional Institution at Cumberland, Maryland. The test aimed to determine whether microjamming could prevent wireless communications by an inmate using a contraband device at the individual cell housing unit level.

Prior to this test, the BOP conducted a limited cellphone jamming demonstration with NTIA in 2010, at the same field site in Cumberland supporting NTIA’s congressionally mandated study of cellphone interdiction technologies.

As part of the Jan. 17 test, NTIA conducted an independent evaluation of microjamming technology to determine its efficacy and interference potential with RF communications. The BOP and NTIA will review the data and analysis results from both BOP’s and NTIA’s testing and develop recommendations for strategic planning and possible acquisition.

“Contraband cellphones in prisons pose a major and growing security threat to correctional officers, law enforcement officials and the general public,” said Assistant Attorney General Beth Williams of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy. “As criminals increase their technological capacity to further criminal activity from within prisons, we must also explore technologies to prevent this from happening. This test is part of our ongoing efforts to find a solution.”

Contraband cellphones have been an ongoing correctional security and public-safety concern for the BOP as well as for state and local correctional agencies across the country. Contraband phones are used to further ongoing criminal activity, including threats to public officials, intimidation of witnesses and continuance of criminal enterprises.

The BOP will continue to evaluate cellphone detection technologies and work with its federal partners and Congress to achieve cost-effective options to combat this threat to corrections and public safety. The agency does not endorse any specific vendor or product.

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Comments
On 2/1/18, Scott Schober said:
In my opinion, as the owner of a wireless company that has developed wireless test tools used to build out the wireless networks since the late 1980s, jamming causes more problems than it solves.

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