Cracking down on contraband mobiles in prisons

A pledge to electronically block prisoners from using contraband mobile phones to communicate with other prisoners and criminal associates outside of the prison is the latest plank of the State Liberals’ law and order policy.

“Contraband mobile phones are used to facilitate the flow of drugs into the prison and plan criminal activities outside of prison,” said Shadow Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.


“Prisoners using mobile phones have arranged murder, planned escapes, imported firearms and arranged drug drops in other prison systems.


“Electronically deactivating contraband mobile phones will reduce the threat they pose to prison guards, the general public and others.”


If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will fund a pilot program at a regional prison to block the use of contraband mobile phones with a view to rolling it out across the prison network.


“The Weatherill Government has acknowledged the threat posed by prisoners getting their hands on mobile phones but has failed to keep contraband mobile phones out of prisoners’ hands,” said Shadow Minister for Correctional Services Stephan Knoll.


“This measure complements our previously announced policies to stop the flow of drugs in prisons by introducing workplace drug testing of prison officers and banning members of outlaw motorcycle gangs from visiting prisons.


“The policy complements our counter terrorism policy to stop the radicalisation and recruitment of prisoners by preventing them from accessing extremist materials.”


Mobile phone jamming technology has been successfully trialled in NSW, New Zealand, the United States and Israel, with current technology jamming signals coming from within the correctional centre’s boundaries and not interfering with other signals.


A variety of technologies to facilitate blocking mobile phone use are readily available including jammers and managed access systems and we will use a tender process to find the best solution for the individual needs of each prison.