François Bayrou, the new keeper of the seals, said he was in favor of putting jammer in place to prevent cell phone use in prison. This technology was established in certain facilities and tested several times. It has as many advantages as disadvantages.
"I'm in favor of putting jammers in prisons." The new keeper of the seals, François Bayrou, like other justice ministers like Christiane Taubira in 2015, responded to BFMTV and RMC on Tuesday to the phenomenon of cell phones in prison. Photos of superiors posted on social networks, of inmates filming themselves in a cell in a swimming pool, smoking cannabis ... The problem has been recurring for several years, despite the fact that the authorities have tried to curb this practice.
Since 2002, the law has allowed wave jammers to be installed in prisons. According to our information, there are currently 804 devices in French prisons. Problem: The technology is often outdated compared to the development of cell phones. The Ministry of Justice has provided three million euros for the upgrade and purchase of a new generation of cell phone jammer. But on one condition.
The aim is to ensure that the existing technologies in the context of permanent technological development (e.g. new 5G frequencies) do not quickly become obsolete and therefore unusable, "explains the prison administration, whereby it is pointed out that the future The chosen service must ensure adaptation, maintenance and, above all, the monitoring of technological developments.
Explosion of phone attacks
Tests are currently underway on this new technology, the final phase of which began in early June before it went live in early 2018. This investment by the prison administration responds to the increasing seizure of cell phones in cells. When there were more than 27,520 in 2014, authorities counted 33,521 in 2016, although systematic full searches of returns from visiting rooms were abolished by Article 57 of the 2009 Prison Act, including the 2009 Decree, which was filed in 2014.
A phenomenon that prison guards regret. "Cell phone possession in prison is one of the plagues that has been around for several years. It's a real problem," said Christopher Dorangeville, National Secretary of the CGT Prison, highlighting the security issues that burden the agents. "The problem today is inmates filming on their cell phones," he said. Images or videos, including prison administration staff, that can be sent outside, as well as information about security systems or the possible extraction of cells to aid escape.
The prison administration of the Montmédy internment camp in the Meuse is currently carrying out an experiment to install wired telephones in each cell.
Another avenue that can be used for the OIP and validated by the general controller for places of imprisonment: legalizing the use of cell phones in prison. "Authorizing and monitoring is better than endless fighting," says the lawyer, specifically mentioning the possibility for detainees to go online to prepare for their release.
In a context of terrorist threat, and while imprisonment appears to have been the catalyst for radicalization for some, the Justice Department does not seem inclined to adopt this solution. The plan announced by former Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas last October to secure prisons as part of the fight against terrorism provides for the generalization of jammers from high-tech cell phones, but also the reinforcement in front of 210 agents in the regional intervention teams to search for target areas to improve. It also provides for the provision of 22 computer specialists who specialize in computer search for the prisoners' computers.