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Posted: 8/9/2011 9:01:30 PM EDT
It seems like cell phones are a big problem in prisons. Why don't the prisons just jam the cell phone frequencies?
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:04:07 PM EDT
The carpet walkers use cell phones and blackberries in the facility all the time. It would hamper thier ability to set lunch dates and such
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:05:03 PM EDT
it's illegal to use a jammer... Not illegal to posses i believe.



Just saying.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:06:20 PM EDT
The FCC.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:07:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pseudojd:
it's illegal to use a jammer... Not illegal to posses i believe.



Just saying.


Seems like the FCC would give the prisons an exception to the rule if asked nicely. Most prisons are out in the middle of nowhere, so I don't see the jammers causing issues outside of the prison.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:08:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By readyornot:
Originally Posted By pseudojd:
it's illegal to use a jammer... Not illegal to posses i believe.



Just saying.


Seems like the FCC would give the prisons an exception to the rule if asked nicely. Most prisons are out in the middle of nowhere, so I don't see the jammers causing issues outside of the prison.


No, most are not in the middle of nowhere!
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:09:47 PM EDT
We use them on rare occasions during certain tactical situations. If the bad guy is using a cell to contact the outside world we will scramble it until we can cut the cell service. The problem is when you scramble you knock out all of your portable radios, cells etc in that given area.

So even though you've made him unable to communicate you've crippled your own comms also.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:11:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By readyornot:
Originally Posted By pseudojd:
it's illegal to use a jammer... Not illegal to posses i believe.



Just saying.


Seems like the FCC would give the prisons an exception to the rule if asked nicely. Most prisons are out in the middle of nowhere, so I don't see the jammers causing issues outside of the prison.


No, they won't. Best you can hope for is a Triggerfish to pin down where the contraband phones are.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:12:14 PM EDT
Then prison guards couldnt sit on facebook all day.


Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:13:26 PM EDT
Spread spectrum is not easy to jam.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:18:28 PM EDT
The FCC sold the spectrum. For cell phones, the spectrum was sold in geographical blocks, meaning the spectrum over the prison is private property.

Property rights. Yes, it is probably owned by someone who has no connection to the prison.

Now they could make a Faraday Cage over the entire cell block which would block the transmission and reception of cell phones. But it would also block the other wireless communications unless repeaters are provided to enter and exit each area.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:26:02 PM EDT
Just build prisons out of whatever my favorite bar is made from. Walk out the door, 5 bars. Walk inside, nadda.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:35:32 PM EDT
cost of the jammers
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:39:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By fcs2178:
We use them on rare occasions during certain tactical situations. If the bad guy is using a cell to contact the outside world we will scramble it until we can cut the cell service. The problem is when you scramble you knock out all of your portable radios, cells etc in that given area.

So even though you've made him unable to communicate you've crippled your own comms also.


That's the problem. Reliably jamming RF over any decent sized area isn't a really precise thing.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:47:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kuraki:
Just build prisons out of whatever my favorite bar is made from. Walk out the door, 5 bars. Walk inside, nadda.

If they had smarts they would design the prisons in a way that would severely attenuate RF at the appropriate frequencies, then use in building repeaters for wireless phones and an in-house distributed antenna repeater system for their two-way communications. Could even just set up in-building microcells that way they can directly monitor all wireless phone traffic, allow only whitelisted phones to work, etc etc.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:47:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fcs2178:
We use them on rare occasions during certain tactical situations. If the bad guy is using a cell to contact the outside world we will scramble it until we can cut the cell service. The problem is when you scramble you knock out all of your portable radios, cells etc in that given area.

So even though you've made him unable to communicate you've crippled your own comms also.

Mil or LE?
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:51:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By readyornot:
It seems like cell phones are a big problem in prisons. Why don't the prisons just jam the cell phone frequencies?


They are?

Where are the inmates getting them? I used to have to visit several prisons at my old job. Like all other visitors I got a shake down, inventory of what went in and out with me, and my cell phone was required to either stay in my car or in a locker at the gate house. I don't see any good way to sneak one in.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 9:52:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Danj:

Originally Posted By fcs2178:
We use them on rare occasions during certain tactical situations. If the bad guy is using a cell to contact the outside world we will scramble it until we can cut the cell service. The problem is when you scramble you knock out all of your portable radios, cells etc in that given area.

So even though you've made him unable to communicate you've crippled your own comms also.

Mil or LE?


LE
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 10:00:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Banjaxed:
Originally Posted By readyornot:
It seems like cell phones are a big problem in prisons. Why don't the prisons just jam the cell phone frequencies?


They are?

Where are the inmates getting them? I used to have to visit several prisons at my old job. Like all other visitors I got a shake down, inventory of what went in and out with me, and my cell phone was required to either stay in my car or in a locker at the gate house. I don't see any good way to sneak one in.


My wife has been in Corrections for 7-years, this is easily the biggest problem CO's face.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 10:02:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FunBobby:
Originally Posted By Banjaxed:
Originally Posted By readyornot:
It seems like cell phones are a big problem in prisons. Why don't the prisons just jam the cell phone frequencies?


They are?

Where are the inmates getting them? I used to have to visit several prisons at my old job. Like all other visitors I got a shake down, inventory of what went in and out with me, and my cell phone was required to either stay in my car or in a locker at the gate house. I don't see any good way to sneak one in.


My wife has been in Corrections for 7-years, this is easily the biggest problem CO's face.


I had no idea,
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 10:04:54 PM EDT
Corrupt COs are probably the primary source of illicit phones.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 3:13:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FunBobby:
My wife has been in Corrections for 7-years, this is easily the biggest problem CO's face.

They need to do the in-building microcells then and only allow whitelisted phones to work.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 3:21:40 PM EDT
? dukes dont jam comms?
Originally Posted By HarryStone:
Originally Posted By fcs2178:
We use them on rare occasions during certain tactical situations. If the bad guy is using a cell to contact the outside world we will scramble it until we can cut the cell service. The problem is when you scramble you knock out all of your portable radios, cells etc in that given area.

So even though you've made him unable to communicate you've crippled your own comms also.


That's the problem. Reliably jamming RF over any decent sized area isn't a really precise thing.


Link Posted: 8/10/2011 3:32:55 PM EDT
Fill all the cells with crappy desktop speakers. That way the EMI noise will be too loud to hold a conversation.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 3:40:02 PM EDT
It would be better to treat criminal like criminals, and deny them cell phones, and anything else that uses electricity.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 3:41:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By webtaz99:
It would be better to treat criminal like criminals, and deny them cell phones, and anything else that uses electricity.


They aren't supposed to have cell phones already, I don't think.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 3:42:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 3:43:08 PM EDT by DonKey153]
Originally Posted By webtaz99:
It would be better to treat criminal like criminals, and deny them cell phones, and anything else that uses electricity.


pretty sure cell phones are already considered contraband.

ETA beaten by 4 seconds!

How do prisoners charge the cell phones? They don't have electrical outlets in their cells...
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 3:51:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DonKey153:
Originally Posted By webtaz99:
It would be better to treat criminal like criminals, and deny them cell phones, and anything else that uses electricity.


pretty sure cell phones are already considered contraband.

ETA beaten by 4 seconds!

How do prisoners charge the cell phones? They don't have electrical outlets in their cells...

Some do. For electric shavers, for example. It is how they power their prison tattoo guns too. Prison tattoos are all black because they use carbon black as the pigment, this they make by burning baby oil in a makeshift lamp, collecting it in a plastic bag. Then they mix shampoo in with it for the "ink".

Others hot wire lights for illicit power. Sure, the guards look out for it but all it takes is a short length of wire.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:30:44 PM EDT
They're looking into it. They tested cell phone jammers at a federal facility here in Maryland last year.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:36:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Danj:
The FCC.


this...federal law
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:36:37 PM EDT
If prisoners were out busting big rocks into small rocks, and small rocks into smaller rocks, and smaller rocks into dust, and this was done for 10 hours a day six days a week, they would've have the time or energy to make phone calls.


I do wish hard labor was still allowed... but as far as the OP goes, there was an article in American Cop earlier last year that talked about this problem and potential solutions. I don't have the date/ magazine issue, but I know it talked about this very problem.
-SS
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:38:00 PM EDT
Keith J, they don't burn any kind of shit in lamps, they buy the ink pens off of commissary, break them, and use that.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:41:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Banjaxed:
Originally Posted By readyornot:
It seems like cell phones are a big problem in prisons. Why don't the prisons just jam the cell phone frequencies?


They are?

Where are the inmates getting them? I used to have to visit several prisons at my old job. Like all other visitors I got a shake down, inventory of what went in and out with me, and my cell phone was required to either stay in my car or in a locker at the gate house. I don't see any good way to sneak one in.


Dirty/compromised COs.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:47:36 PM EDT
Its a violation of federal law to jam cellular frequencies.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:50:15 PM EDT
Prison should suck to the ultimate level allowed by law. Breaking stones, diaper service, whatever it takes to make a believer out of people.
Hell, make the "rehabilitation" curriculum with the input of Mike Rowe and let them do "Dirty Jobs" while in the slammer...
Above all, if they have the means, time or energy to chat on contraband cell phones then we are treating our prisoners too nicely...
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:52:04 PM EDT
Don't cell phones hit the closest or strongest tower? Then why not have a tower on the grounds and have a whitelist of cell ESNs? Register your phone and you can use it nearby. Of course anyone within range, outside the prison but close enough would lose their service. So maybe you make it highly directional pointing into the prison.

Just thinking out loud here.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:52:53 PM EDT
The BOP is considering jammers.

Right now it is definitely our largest contraband item. IIRC the BOP confiscated over 4500 cell phones last year.

To charge them, many cells (actually most) have electrical outlets in their cells. Not hard to rig it up. They also hide them behind the wall sockets.

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:53:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 4:56:29 PM EDT by Thorgrim]
Originally Posted By Star_Scream:
Then prison guards couldnt sit on facebook all day.





Yeah because that's what we do all day, right? You win lame post of the day.
Anyway, there are lots of valid answers here in this thread, not the least of which are the carpet walkers. I snickered at the expression, good one!

BTW we do work the inmates here, at least those not sly, feeble or old enough to get medically excepted.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:53:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ex0331:
The carpet walkers use cell phones and blackberries in the facility all the time. It would hamper thier ability to set lunch dates and such


First post got it.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:00:27 PM EDT
How about instead discretely routing all traffic inside the prison through a listening post.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:03:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By fivepointoh:
The BOP is considering jammers.

Right now it is definitely our largest contraband item. IIRC the BOP confiscated over 4500 cell phones last year.

To charge them, many cells (actually most) have electrical outlets in their cells. Not hard to rig it up. They also hide them behind the wall sockets.



Is anything electrical actually allowed in a prison cell though? Seems odd to have an outlet if electronics are illegal.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:10:39 PM EDT
Every cell I've seen on TV has a TV in it. I would guess most if not all cells have power. Except solitary.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:14:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By del:
Keith J, they don't burn any kind of shit in lamps, they buy the ink pens off of commissary, break them, and use that.


QFT
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:17:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sheddy:
Originally Posted By fivepointoh:
The BOP is considering jammers.

Right now it is definitely our largest contraband item. IIRC the BOP confiscated over 4500 cell phones last year.

To charge them, many cells (actually most) have electrical outlets in their cells. Not hard to rig it up. They also hide them behind the wall sockets.



Is anything electrical actually allowed in a prison cell though? Seems odd to have an outlet if electronics are illegal.

We do not have TV's for the inmates to buy in commissary as our facility is mainly a pre-trial (high turn over rate). With that said our prison was built in the 70's when white collar crime was the majority of BOP inmates. Now we have everything, and constantly fail certain program reviews for meeting our security levels. (we're an admin/max security due to pre trial).

The inmates can "check out" clothing irons, hair curlers and blow dryers (for the females), and hair clippers. Also we have electric type writers to use. So yes I suppose the outlets serve a purpose but we'd be better off with out them.

Inmates can also buy radios/headsets to listen to the radio stations or the tv's in each section of the unit. Tobacco is our other big contraband item and usually they use razors and AA or AAA batteries to create a spark or ignite the tobacco/home made cig's.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:19:24 PM EDT
prison gang nabs a kid set for work release, promises him whatever. Kid gets cellphone out on work release and comes back to prison. Sticks phone where it can't be found and tries to fight a real old guy. Kid goes back to the blocks and hands phone over to gang. Are some guards dirty......YES!!!! Are most guards hands tied from stopping this shit.......YES. I LOVE TO SEARCH CELLS. I search them whenever I can, I can see if people love you enough to mail letters, if you are neat, crazy, smart, stupid, I can glean all kinds of info about you by searching your stuff. I am not allowed to check your ass.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 6:22:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FunBobby:
Originally Posted By del:
Keith J, they don't burn any kind of shit in lamps, they buy the ink pens off of commissary, break them, and use that.


QFT


You can still make wine in the toilet.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 6:25:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By del:
prison gang nabs a kid set for work release, promises him whatever. Kid gets cellphone out on work release and comes back to prison. Sticks phone where it can't be found and tries to fight a real old guy. Kid goes back to the blocks and hands phone over to gang. Are some guards dirty......YES!!!! Are most guards hands tied from stopping this shit.......YES. I LOVE TO SEARCH CELLS. I search them whenever I can, I can see if people love you enough to mail letters, if you are neat, crazy, smart, stupid, I can glean all kinds of info about you by searching your stuff. I am not allowed to check your ass.


So you're saying an iPhone4 is out?






Posted from my prison cell on my HTC EVO.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 6:29:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fcs2178:
We use them on rare occasions during certain tactical situations. If the bad guy is using a cell to contact the outside world we will scramble it until we can cut the cell service. The problem is when you scramble you knock out all of your portable radios, cells etc in that given area.

So even though you've made him unable to communicate you've crippled your own comms also.


Only if you bought your jamming equipment from Hong Kong off eBay.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 6:31:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Keith_J:

Originally Posted By DonKey153:
Originally Posted By webtaz99:
It would be better to treat criminal like criminals, and deny them cell phones, and anything else that uses electricity.


pretty sure cell phones are already considered contraband.

ETA beaten by 4 seconds!

How do prisoners charge the cell phones? They don't have electrical outlets in their cells...

Some do. For electric shavers, for example. It is how they power their prison tattoo guns too. Prison tattoos are all black because they use carbon black as the pigment, this they make by burning baby oil in a makeshift lamp, collecting it in a plastic bag. Then they mix shampoo in with it for the "ink".

Others hot wire lights for illicit power. Sure, the guards look out for it but all it takes is a short length of wire.

They also use batteries and make motors, use crayolas, magazine ink from pages in magazines, ashes w/ oil, rubber gloves, etc....

We have a lot of hooch problems also....and made usually around 4 to 8 gallons at a time.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 6:37:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By fivepointoh:

Originally Posted By Keith_J:

Originally Posted By DonKey153:
Originally Posted By webtaz99:
It would be better to treat criminal like criminals, and deny them cell phones, and anything else that uses electricity.


pretty sure cell phones are already considered contraband.

ETA beaten by 4 seconds!

How do prisoners charge the cell phones? They don't have electrical outlets in their cells...

Some do. For electric shavers, for example. It is how they power their prison tattoo guns too. Prison tattoos are all black because they use carbon black as the pigment, this they make by burning baby oil in a makeshift lamp, collecting it in a plastic bag. Then they mix shampoo in with it for the "ink".

Others hot wire lights for illicit power. Sure, the guards look out for it but all it takes is a short length of wire.

They also use batteries and make motors, use crayolas, magazine ink from pages in magazines, ashes w/ oil, rubber gloves, etc....

We have a lot of hooch problems also....and made usually around 4 to 8 gallons at a time.


Pruno.

I've tried some made at home. Not good at all.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 6:39:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 7:16:38 PM EDT by hellbound]
Originally Posted By TurboniumOxide:
Don't cell phones hit the closest or strongest tower? Then why not have a tower on the grounds and have a whitelist of cell ESNs? Register your phone and you can use it nearby. Of course anyone within range, outside the prison but close enough would lose their service. So maybe you make it highly directional pointing into the prison.

Just thinking out loud here.


you are correct.

cell phones will go to the nearest cell tower (actually the tower with the highest signal strength, just like wifi)... all you need is one of those mini towers that you can install in your house if you have poor reception. they already use whitelisting to allow only authorized phones (so your neighbors can't hop on the network). Only problem with the ones i've played with are that they need a wired internet connection to convert the CDMA/GSM signal into VOIP and a clear shot outside to sync with GPS. If they can't get either of these things, they won't go online.

Using minitowers is how they MITM attacked 3G networks at DEFCON for the past couple years. This year some folks MITM attacked CDMA and 4G using a similar attack vector, and were able to exploit a number of android based phones.

the technology is there, it's a matter of getting the prisons to pay for and maintain it.
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