After finding 775 prohibited cell phones in Texas prisons so far this year, state officials are petitioning federal regulators and the U.S. Senate for the power to jam cell phone signals in lockups – joining 27 other states who want the same authority, reports the Houston Chronicle. States hope to use jamming technology to keep cell phones out of the hands of inmates, who can use them to order criminal acts outside prison walls. The Senate holds a hearing tomorrow.
Of the 775 phones found in Texas prisons this year, 217 were intercepted before making it to an inmate. The prison system conducts searches and is training dogs to find cell phones. John Walls of CTIA-The Wireless Association, a wireless industry group, said the industry agrees the problem needs to be solved but, “The problem with jamming technology is that’s it’s imprecise.  There’s not one legitimate customer that we have behind bars, and shutting that off is as much of a concern to the industry as anybody else.”