When recruits sign up to serve their country via their local Guard units, it’s a given they will be called out for floods, fires, and even crowd control; but it’s safe to say most Soldiers never thought they would be deployed to the state prison to keep cell phones and other contraband from entering the premises.
Two weeks ago, South Carolina’s Gov. Henry McMaster signed an order for South Carolina State Guard Soldiers to assist the Department of Corrections in helping them combat smuggling of contraband into the maximum-security prison in Columbia. If successful, the program will likely expand to other facilities.
The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the nation’s airwaves, has said it can’t permit jamming in state prisons, citing a decades-old law that prohibits interruption of the airwaves at state-level institutions. But the agency has been softening on the issue, thanks to persistent pleas from officials including Bryan Stirling and Gov. McMaster, as well as members of Congress including Tennessee Rep. David Kustoff.
While efforts continue for jamming capabilities in prison facilities across the nation, South Carolina will increase searches, scanner and even working dogs that are specifically trained to “hit” on cell phones.
There has been no word from local state militia Soldiers regarding their feelings of using their soldiering skills to augment the department of corrections. South Carolina has a history of being short-staffed at all incarceration facilities. Billboards, semi-trucks, and print ads in newspapers show continual job openings. If you are interested in working for the South Carolina Department of Corrections, follow this link.