RINGFIELD, ILLINOIS: Inmates and their associates on the outside are deploying drones to deliver drugs, cellphones, and other contraband to US prison yards, leaving prison guards and correctional authorities puzzling over how to deal with the new technology.
After smuggling incidents around Maryland, Ohio and Oklahoma prisons last year, Illinois lawmakers are proposing legislation to penalize the activity, even though the state has yet to see such an incident. Wisconsin and Michigan also have pending legislation to criminalize the use of drones over prisons.
“It’s like anything, new technology brings new problems,” said Sen. Tim Bivins, a Republican sponsoring the Illinois legislation. Bivins’ bill would add an extra year of prison to inmates involved in bringing contraband into prison with a drone.