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Inmates in a jam: contracts signed for Lithgow phone jamming upgrade 

Publication date: Tuesday, 20 March 2018

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Lithgow Correctional Centre’s mobile phone jamming system will be upgraded as Corrective Services NSW continues to crack down on contraband phones in prisons.

Contracts have been signed for Kordia Solutions Pty Ltd to upgrade the equipment at the centre, following a successful phone jamming trial at the site in recent years.

Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the system, which has been operating since 2013, has been a major blow to inmates determined to use phones illegally inside prisons.

“CSNSW is at the forefront of developing and implementing technologies to combat contraband mobile phones and phone jamming is considered the ultimate solution, rendering all mobile phones in the target area useless,” Minister Elliott said.

“To ensure continued success of Lithgow Correctional Centre’s phone jamming trial, we are now upgrading the existing technology at the centre and further extending phone jamming equipment at Goulburn Correctional Complex.”

The high-tech phone jamming equipment will be installed and rigorously tested at Goulburn Correctional Complex in the coming months, before the trial period commences.

The successful long-term trial of signal jammers showed very few contraband mobile phone seizures in the past five years at Lithgow Correctional Centre.

Commissioner Peter Severin said phone jamming technology complements the existing measures used to combat contraband phones, including security screening, intelligence gathering, searches, the use of detection devices and specially-trained mobile phone detection dogs.

“CSNSW staff work tirelessly to find and remove contraband from our prisons, but the small size of the phones and the limited metal content makes them extremely difficult to detect,” Commissioner Severin said.

“Phone jamming removes the incentive for inmates to introduce and operate illicit mobile phones in prisons.”

CSNSW Security Operations Group and mobile phone detection dogs seized 110 mobile phones last year – around two a week on average. SOG officers conducted more than 75,200 searches inside prisons, in addition to searches and seizures performed by staff at individual centres.