More than 216,320 texts and cell phone calls have been blocked from being delivered inside the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman since Aug. 6, thanks to new cutting-edge technology, says the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson. The system forms a radio frequency umbrella that intercepts cell phone transmissions in a specified area, preventing unauthorized communications from inmates. “It’s a big deal that we’re first in the U.S. to employ this type of managed access system when there’s a problem in virtually every prison and jail,” Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said.
Mississippi negotiated so that its telecommunications provider, Global Tel*Link Solutions, and partner Tecore Networks would include a system to control cell phone usage without costing the state an additional dime, Epps said. So far this year, nearly 2,000 cell phones have been confiscated from Mississippi prisons. Last year, almost 3,600 cell phones were seized. In recent years, cell phones have been used in prison escapes. Cell phones have been used to call in hits on witnesses or possibly police officers.