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Grant to combat contraband cell phones in prisons, jails

The Alabama Department of Corrections has been awarded a $149,658 grant for a program to address the proliferation of contraband cell phones in prisons and jails, Gov. Kay Ivey announced.

“Cell phones create a number of security concerns in correctional facilities and are often used to foster violence and enable criminal enterprises,” Ivey said. “Reducing their usage will make these institutions safer for both correctional officers and inmates.”

The ADOC reported a 60% increase in cell phone confiscations from 2019-22. This grant will help fund the department’s new Digital Forensic Unit program, which will use technology and strategic collaboration to identify evidence of criminal activity, Ivey’s office said in a news release. The unit will have access to forensic tools that can extract data from locked or encrypted cell phones.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“ADECA joins Governor Ivey in support of the Alabama Department of Corrections as they confront this challenge head-on,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.

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