Drones pose smuggling challenge for prisons

Posted at 9:08 AM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 10:08:52-05

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois lawmakers are seeking ways to penalize the use of drones to deliver drugs, cellphones, and other contraband to prison yards after seeing such cases in Ohio, Maryland and Oklahoma.

A proposal by Illinois Republican Sen. Tim Bivins would add an extra year of prison to inmates involved in bringing contraband into prison with a drone. Wisconsin and Michigan also have pending legislation to criminalize drone use over prisons.

Bivins says prison officials requested the bill to be proactive, even though Illinois has yet to see a case where drones have been used for prison smuggling.

A drone delivering drugs last July to a prison in Mansfield, Ohio, triggered a fight among inmates when the package with heroin, marijuana, and tobacco was dropped in the yard.

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