South Carolina Seeks Authority To Block Cell Phone Calls For Inmates

The State of South Carolina is once again asking the Federal government for the authority to block cell phone service within its prisons. The reality is that while cell phones are not allowed within the prison walls, they sometimes find their way in anyway. It could be a sympathetic guard or just a resourceful family member who finds a way to get one in. Whatever the case may be, the State would like to see that the service those phones receive be blocked. reports that under current legal configurations, it is expensive and not all that effective to block the cell phone services in those prisons. This is because of the rules set out by the Federal government. Therefore, South Carolina would like to see changes to these regulations to make it easier for them to pull this off.


Clearly, the danger that is posed by someone within a prison having the ability to make a cell phone call is real. A monitored call through official prison phones can and is recorded. However, a call from a cell phone that has been brought it cannot be monitored.


The FCC has created rules that make it illegal for a state to use cell phone blocking technology. One might wonder what the point of this would be, but it is actually for the safety of corrections officers. The FCC has argued that in the event of an emergency, the corrections officers may need to use their own cell phones to call out for backup. However, in the state of South Carolina it is not permitted for officers to carry their cell phones to work with them during work hours in the first place. As a result, it is reasonable for this particular state to want to see a change to regulations.