Tennessee prisons to use dogs to sniff out banned cell phones - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tennessee prisons to use dogs to sniff out banned cell phones

(WMC-TV) - Tennessee's state prison system has a new tool for tracking down banned cell phones.

Starting in February, Mississippi prisoners caught with cell phones will lose all privileges, including commissary and regular phone calls.

The Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) said they are also cracking down on inmate cell phones.  

"One of the things that we are currently in the process of doing is adopting three cell phone sniffing dogs," said TDOC communications director Dorinda Carter.

Carter said the three dogs are currently in training.

Two of the dogs are black Labrador Retrievers and the third, a Stanger, a cross between a Springer Spaniel and Cocker Spaniel.

"We are in the process of training these particular dogs to be able to locate the cell phones through smell and through scent," said Carter.

With an average of 10 cell phones confiscated in Tennessee prisons per day, Carter said they take illegal phone use very seriously.

"Inmates will attempt to continue running their illegal operations through the use of a cell phone in prison. Some may attempt to contact their victims which is obviously a violation," said Carter.

Carter said correctional facilities are also working closely with social media networks like Facebook.

"As soon as we are made aware of that or we discover a Facebook page in our investigations, we have those pages shut down," she said.

After training, Carter said the dogs are set to go to work sniffing out cell phones within the next 30 days.

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