Georgia Joins 21 Other States In Push For Federal Legislation To Combat Contraband Phones In Prison

Republican Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has joined 21 other attorney generals in sending a letter to Congressional leaders to pass legislation that would allow states to implement a cell phone jamming system in prisons due to prisoners using contraband cellphones to commit crimes from inside the prison. 

“Our Gang Prosecution Unit and the Georgia Department of Corrections are working together to identify and prosecute those who are using contraband cell phones to engage in criminal activity while behind bars,” said Carr. “It is critical that Congress join in this fight by removing a substantial barrier that is simply allowing those inside the prison walls to continue committing crimes that negatively impact our communities. This is a nationwide issue that poses a significant risk to our correctional officers and the public at large, and we must do all we can to ensure that violent offenders have no method for causing additional harm from inside a prison cell.”

The letter says, in part, “[I]nmate use of contraband cell phones is one of the most serious issues facing prison administrators today. Inmates use contraband cell phones to organize murders, riots, drug deals, fraud, and much more. By utilizing contraband cell phones, inmates are easily able to continue their criminal activities from inside prison.”

“We strongly urge Congress to pass meaningful legislation, through this bill or another, to allow states to jam contraband cell phones-and quickly. Right now, these cell phones are still being used, with no way to block them, and are posing an active threat to public safety,” the letter adds.

As noted in a press release from Carr’s office, “In November 2022, Carr announced the indictment of 17 alleged members of the 183 Gangster Bloods (1-8 Trey Bloods) in Barrow County. Two of those indicted are currently incarcerated in New York and Georgia and are alleged to be national and statewide leaders of the gang. While incarcerated, these two individuals are alleged to have engaged in electronic communications with other defendants and to have encouraged those defendants to participate in criminal activity in furtherance of the 183 Gangster Bloods enterprise.”

“The defendants are further alleged to have engaged in discussions regarding the packaging and shipping of contraband items into a Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) facility, as well as the sale and distribution of controlled substances in Hays State Prison,” the press release added. 

In addition to Georgia, the following states have also signed the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

D & B Staff

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