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Drones are a threat to deliver drugs, weapons, and cellphones into prisons, feds say

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The use of drones, or unmanned aircraft systems, to deposit contraband such as drugs, weapons, and cellphones into correctional facilities, poses a significant and growing threat to the safety and security of prisons and jails, federal officials say.
Federal prison

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The use of drones, or unmanned aircraft systems, to deposit contraband such as drugs, weapons, and cellphones into correctional facilities, poses a significant and growing threat to the safety and security of prisons and jails, federal officials say.

Advances in drone technology have enabled remotely piloted aircraft devices to carry larger payloads, fly faster and for longer distances, and operate at lower costs. Technology that can detect and defend against drones is also advancing to meet this emerging threat. However, more research is needed to quantify the drone-delivered contraband threat in correctional facilities and identify all its dimensions.

Every day, correctional facilities face formidable threats from contraband such as illicit weapons, drugs, and cell phones. Prison and jail leaders and staff need new, more sophisticated means of stopping and seizing contraband before it reaches a facility’s population, federal officials say. One concern is the growing capabilities of drones that can deliver contraband into a facility.

Research and reports on several aspects of contraband management and defenses, including the report, “Contraband and Drones in Correctional Facilities” are available.

 

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