Ala. DOC focuses on managed access to stop contraband cell phones

Managed access allows administrators to pick and choose which calls are acceptable and which are blocked

By C1 Staff

ELMORE COUNTY, Ala. — The Alabama Department of Corrections is planning to install a managed access system in three facilities in Elmore County. reports that the system’s installation is expected to cost around $2 million. The DOC has also asked for an additional $4 million to install the system at four additional facilities.

Currently the system will be installed at Draper, Elmore and Staton correctional facilities. If the DOC receives the requested funds, they would expand the system to Bibb, Donaldson, Fountain and St. Clair.

A managed access system allows administrators to block and approve calls; this would allow for necessary and emergency calls to go through, unlike cell phone jamming, which blocks all cell phone signals within a given area.

Calls and texts from unrecognized numbers are blocked. The system would also block Internet communications, such as email and social media.

Prison officials are hoping to turn the valuable and dangerous contraband cell phones into paperweights.

The DOC does not track how many cell phones it confiscates, but it did just donate 1,400 collected within a year to a domestic violence program.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections also currently utilizes a managed access system at two of its prisons and is currently planning on adding it to a third. The system at Parchman has captured more than six million transmissions.

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