Drones pose new contraband, smuggling challenge for prisons

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.

(Credit: mipan)
(Credit: mipan)

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.