Prisoners Busted With Contraband Cell Phones During National Emergency Alert System Test


In a surprising turn of events during the recent National Emergency Alert System test, prison guards across the United States made an unexpected discovery. While the test proved to be a success for the general public, it turned out to be a major headache for prisoners with illegal cell phones behind bars.

Key Takeaway

The National Emergency Alert System test exposed a significant security issue in prisons, as prisoners hiding illegal cell phones were easily detected during the test. This incident highlights the ongoing challenges of dealing with contraband cell phones and the efforts being made to address this problem.

Testing the Alert System

Millions of cellphone users throughout the country received an alert on their devices from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of a nationwide test to ensure that emergency alerts reach the public effectively. This test sought to examine the efficiency of the system in delivering both test messages and loud alert noises to phones.

An Unexpected Consequence

The test inadvertently highlighted a significant security issue within the prison system. Prisoners who were hiding illegal cell phones found themselves exposed and vulnerable when the emergency alert went off. As a result, prison guards seized two cell phones at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York, as well as two more at FCI Coleman Low in Florida during the test.

Although it remains uncertain how many other prisons encountered similar situations during the test, it is reasonable to assume that this was a nationwide problem. Our efforts to contact prisons in Arizona, California, Illinois, and other states revealed no specific details, except that the issue likely affected numerous correctional facilities across the country.

In Nevada, however, the situation was somewhat different. According to a source, most prisoners there had prior knowledge of the impending alert and therefore turned off their phones, resulting in no confiscations.

Tackling the Contraband Cell Phone Issue

It comes as no surprise that illegal cell phones behind bars have become a growing concern for officials. In response, they have implemented various strategies to locate and confiscate these devices. One such method involves the use of specially trained dogs called “E-Dogs” that are capable of sniffing out phones.

While the recent events during the National Emergency Alert System test may have caught prisoners off guard, it is likely that they will become more cautious in the future. With the increasing efforts to address the issue of contraband cell phones in prisons, it remains crucial to ensure the safety and security of both inmates and the public.