Prisoners are always looking for new ways to smuggle contraband in and out of prisons. Apparently, they need look no further than to the skies. People are now using drones in order to move drugs into prisons, and officials do not know how to stop the practice.
The United States Federal Bureau of Prisons has asked the public for help in preventing drones carrying contraband from flying over prison properties. The agency says that it is not seeking formal proposals or contracts from drone-prevention services.
Instead, the agency wants good old-fashioned honest help from the public. They want to hear legitimate suggestions from United States citizens about how they can stop people from flying drones into and out of prisons in order to transfer contraband.
The agency is clearly operating on a strict budget, as officials even went out of their way to specifically state that they would not be able to fund research into any proposed systems that have not already been built. Basically, they not only want to stop drone use in prisons, they want to do it on the cheap.
The posting from the Bureau of Prisons reads, “The goal of this RFI (request for information) is to collect information to identify and assess the landscape of technologies and systems that can assist in the Bureau's mission by countering, mitigating, and/or interdicting the impact and possible nefarious intent of unmanned aerial systems (UAS)."
In recent times, drones have become an increased concern for American and European prisons. Earlier this year at a prison in Ohio, an attempt to use a drone to drop drugs into the prison resulted in a major fight in the exercise yard. Last May in Great Britain, a drone was spotted delivering contraband inside a prison. Similar schemes have also been attempted in Australia and Ireland.
As drones become more affordable and easier to fly, most experts believe that the practice will continue. Thus, the prison bureau wants to start preventing the action as soon as possible. Just don’t expect them to spend a large amount of money in doing so, at least not right away.
Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is still continuing to have a difficult time determining laws to track and enforce drones. Clearly, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done in the area of drone use.