Beat the Boss – The Fight Against Mobile Phones in Our Prisons

Take a look around you…

Mobile phones – everyone has one.

From the toddler on their parents’ phone watching a downloadable cartoon, to a teenager keeping in contact with their friends through social media, to the person reading their newspaper online, or an elderly person playing a crossword game on line.

The number of mobile phone users in 2018 is already past the five billion mark.  That is around 68% of the population worldwide who has use of a mobile phone.

There is a well-documented article from The New York Times, some years ago, that stated, “more people in the world today have access to a mobile phone than a clean toilet.”

In fact, there are very few groups of society that don’t have access to mobile phones;

The images that we see of migrants arriving in precarious boats, once landed safely, phone or text their family on their mobile phone.  Images of people marching and protesting over poverty, taking photographs on their mobile phone. Images from war torn scenes, people with mobile phones. Images from natural disasters, people with mobile phones. African herdsman in full tribal wear in the middle of the bushveld, chatting on their mobile phone.

And Prisons and Prisoners are no different.

The thought that once incarcerated, prisoners are denied access to the “luxuries” like mobile phones, is now, almost laughable.

According to the UK Government, in 2016, over 20,000 mobile phones and sim cards were recovered whilst in the USA (just in California) prison officials confiscated around 8,000 devices between January and August of 2016, and the Bureau of Prisons confiscated 5,116 phones in 2016, and preliminary numbers for 2017 indicate a 28 percent increase.

They may not be the most up to date iPhone costing over £1000 or have a whole range of impressive apps and nifty features, but to be honest, the average prisoner doesn’t need all of that. All he needs is a basic mobile and a sim card, and he has the perfect tool to run drug operations, carry on lucrative business operations, harass and threaten victims, or intimidate witnesses.

Clearly something needs to be done to stem the flow of phones into our Prisons, and Prison authorities the world over are trying to find the perfect solution.

A wide and varying selection of deterrents, and detectors have been trailed and installed including;


A high frequency shielding paint, Y-Shield EMR Paint is painted on prison walls jamming cell phone signals, CB, TV, AM, FM signals, radiofrequency radiation and microwaves.


The UK has recently introduced legislation to apply for Telecommunications Restriction Orders at Court to block specific mobile phones being used in prisons. Since the legislation was introduced in August 2017, more than 150 mobile phones were cut off.


Mobile phone detector dogs were deployed by Corrective Services NSW, Australia.

“In the three years after their introduction a total of 478 mobile phones and accessories were detected by our State Emergency Unit, which works to eliminate contraband from prisons.”

“The dogs are specially-trained to detect the lithium in mobile phone batteries and we’ve now extended their capability to sniff out chargers and SIM cards as well.”

Non-Linear Junction Detectors (NLJDs)
Hand held detectors that can be used to sweep through prisoners’ cells, and meeting areas, such as those supplied by International Procurement Services, (IPS UK) the ORION 900 HX Non-Linear Junction Detector which can detect electronic semi-conductor components through dense materials such as bricks, concrete and soil and the ORION 2.4 HX Non-Linear Junction Detector which is better at detecting modern, surface-mounted circuitry and electronic semi-conductor components in walls, floors, ceilings, fixtures.

A range of scanners, x-ray machines, and metal detectors.

Including the B.O.S.S – Body Orifice Security Scanner

BOSS II is a 5 Zone Body Orifice Security Scanner for instantaneous detection of all conductive metals. Currently on sale for just under $10,000.00 it has 5 detection zones; oral, abdominal, rectal/vaginal, shin and foot and according to their brochure has an advantage of “Eliminate Stabbings and Slashings” and to “Detect Cell Phones”

But as with all things, just when you think you have the technology to beat the criminals at their own game, someone comes up with a more progressed technology designed to beat yours.

Introducing the J8 The World’s Smallest Mobile Phone, complete with voice changer.

This little beauty is available on Amazon for a paltry £24.99 and is your Convicted Criminals Birthday and Christmas present all rolled into one. It even comes with 24-hour delivery and can be gift wrapped!

This phone is easy use, to send texts, make calls and with the additional benefit of the voice changer you could intimidate and frighten your proposed witnesses, or staff and continue your nefarious activities whilst still locked up in prison.

But, most importantly, and what makes it’s the perfect present is that it is 99.99% plastic and with its slim and tiny lozenge shape makes it perfect for body cavity insertions for increased concealment.

This makes it virtually undetectable to any detectors of conductive metals.

But, there is a well tried and tested technology, that can and will beat the criminals at their own game.

The SOTER RS Body Scanner from ODSecurity can detect virtually anything, including 99.99% plastic mobile phones which have been hidden, even internally.

The SOTER RS is a person X-ray system which combines ultra-low radiation with maximum visibility.  Each SOTER RS comes with its own software that is written and optimized. Any hidden objects are found within 10 seconds, regardless of what material it is made of. Even ingested, camouflaged or organic items such as drugs will be detected.

If it is there, SOTER RS will find it.

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