A previous entry to this blog focused upon the presence of illicit cell phones in prisons. In the entry, it was explained how illicit cell phones remain a major problem inside New Jersey’s prisons, as inmates use the devices to secretly communicate with each other, intimidate witnesses and direct drug deals and other illegal activity.

On September 16, 2009, the Trentonian reported that New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram is now utilizing sniffing dogs and orifice scanners to address the problem. Recently, twenty-five convicts from five different gangs and 10 other New Jersey prison inmates have been indicted for possession of cell phones.

Attorney General Milgram announced the indictments at a press conference in which police dogs demonstrated their ability to sniff out hidden phones and authorities unveiled a new cell detection device called the BOSS, for “Bodily Orifice Security Scanner.” The BOSS is a device for looking into a body like and x-ray machine or airport surveillance equipment that can see hidden items. The scanner is within a chair that inmates sit in to be checked for contraband.

Prison officers and others in New Jersey are concerned that the gangs which overpopulate state prisons are trying to run the prisons at the same time they try to call the shots for other gang members still on the outside. “Safety and security both inside and outside the prison walls are paramount to our mission,” said New Jersey Department of Corrections Commissioner George W. Hayman. “Illegal cell phones potentially provide the offender population with an opportunity to compromise public safety. This cannot and will not be allowed to happen, and we will continue to utilize aggressive, proactive measures in our efforts to protect law-abiding citizens.”

Attorney General Milgram stated that between August 2008 and July 2009, New Jersey Corrections Officers seized 391 cell phones from inmates. She also noted that the gang population in New Jersey prisons keeps escalating because of all the recent arrests of gang members, almost 2,000 in the last 13 months.

To read the article in its entirety, please click on the following link.