Blocking mobile phone use in prisons

What we’ll do

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.

Mobile phone jamming technology has been successfully trialled in New South Wales and internationally in New Zealand, the United States and Israel, proving it is possible to contain the jamming to signals coming from within the correctional centre’s boundaries and not interfere with other signals.

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

This policy complements other measures we have announced to stop the flow of drugs into our prisons and also enhances our counter terrorism policy by preventing prisoners from accessing extremist materials and becoming radicalised.

Why we’re doing it

Contraband mobile phones in prisons allow inmates to facilitate the flow of drugs and other contraband items into prisons and enable inmates to continue a life of crime from behind bars.

Using phones, inmates around the world have arranged murder, planned escapes, imported firearms and arranged drug imports.

Despite the current security precautions designed to prevent mobile phones from entering prisons, they are still making their way in with phones becoming smaller and easier to conceal.

This poses a serious threat to the security of correctional centres and the community more broadly who are trusting that, at the very least, prisoners are being prevented from engaging in further crime.

That’s why we will make sure that even if a contraband mobile phone makes its way into a prison, it will be rendered useless.