|Cell Phone Jamming Unit|
The only hurdle in the testing comes as radio signal jammers are in violation of federal law. We are told that there are some variations of the signal jammers that may pass under the radar but its not clear which technology the state is trying to purchase. The FCC also noted that there have not been any prosecutions under the 1934 based federal law in "many years". And that no one has filed any complaints regarding jamming of signals which normally consists of law enforcement agencies jamming signals during hostage situations and the like. Texas state legislator Jerry Madden stated that each cell phone jammer will cost the state from $500,000 to 2.5 million per prison unit. He stated that TDCJ should think about altering it's state housing policies to make employees pay more for state issued housing. Possibly market value. Despite the current budget shortfalls, legislators vow to find the money to secure state prisons. If TDCJ outfitted all prisons at the basic levels, it would cost taxpayers close to 58 million dollars. But surely only the worst facilities would be outfitted if the plan does materialize at all.
As an editorial on the situation, i have to say that the law put into place outlawing cell phones in prison has no deterrent factor whatsoever. When inmates are caught red handed with the cell phones, if they are prosecuted at all the back log of open cases filed or investigated by TDCJ OIG officials goes back years. Then you have to contend with county court systems that are just as back logged. Many times inmates have already paroled and been on the streets for years before the charges are even heard. The same goes for prosecuting staff members who are caught introducing the phones. They resign, are fired and move on. Sometimes going un-prosecuted. Hows that for a deterrent ?