Contraband cell phones pose a significant threat to public safety, the well-being of people who are incarcerated and of correctional staff, and the overall security of correctional facilities. They can be used to coordinate criminal activity, plan escapes, and intimidate witnesses. It is illegal for people in prisons and jails to have cell phones, but they are frequently smuggled into those facilities.
In response, the Urban Institute is identifying best practices and guidelines for combating contraband cell phones in correctional facilities, and we are providing resources and technical assistance to correctional practitioners to put those strategies into place.
This work is funded by a cooperative agreement (Award No. 2019-UP-BX-K001) from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. Neither the US Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this web page (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).
For this project, we collaborated with the American Correctional Association; the Correctional Leaders Association; John Shaffer, a criminal justice consultant; and Joe Russo of the University of Denver.