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New York Prison Using UAS Detection Technology

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2017
3 pages
Since unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) have been used in the United States and other countries to attempt deliveries of contraband to inmates in correctional facilities, this article describes how the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverhead, NY, is using UAS detection technology to thwart any attempt to use UAS as a means to breach prison grounds for the purpose of delivering illicit items to inmates.

The UAS detection technology was installed in May 2016 , and after a 60-day period of testing the technology with the UAS of the county sheriff's office, the decision was made to keep the detection technology. This decision was based largely on the increasing number of reports of people using UAS in an attempt to deliver, sometimes successfully, drugs, cell phones, weapons, and other contraband to inmates. In early 2017, the system detected two UASs in one day in a public parking lot in front of the prison. Upon investigation, they were determined not to be a threat; however, the system's reliability was confirmed. The $40,000 system has five multisensory trackers, each of which uses acoustic, video, and radio frequency sensor technology. If the system detects something, an officer at a control station sees a graphic overlay of the facility and will receive an alert as to where the technology was detected. Alerts are also sent to selected staff via email.

Date Published: July 1, 2017