Guards Are Battling Contraband-Smuggling Drones At US Prisons


It's no secret that federal prisons in the U.S. are already host to a litany of ethical dilemmas and practical problems, including overcrowding, and severe undermaintenance, not to mention a penal-generated drug epidemic and racially-imbalanced incarceration rates.

Now, correctional officers at these same prisons have a new crisis to deal with: inmates (or their cohorts on the outside) using unmanned aircraft vehicles, or drones, to smuggle in illegal contraband from weapons to drugs.

According to a Request for Information issued by the Federal Bureau of Prisons' Office of Security Technology, which outlines the challenges drones can pose for prison guards and security protocols, these "recent advances in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have presented a new and evolving threat to the BOP mission."

The request for information also went on to inform that "small devices of less than a pound that can provide unauthorized imagery and surveillance to larger systems that can carry 20 or more pounds of contraband, these devices represent a new and unprecedented challenge for BOP personnel."

The document called for help identifying technologies and extended security measures that could aid officers in drone detection, tracking, identification, classification, and ultimately, an expedient and measured response. 

Via: Digital Trends

Photo: Michael MK Khor | Flickr   

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