New legislation aims to help prevent drugs and cell phones from being smuggled into state prisons by prohibiting the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or “drones,” over prisons. The legislation was introduced in response to several incidents across the country where drones have been used to drop drugs, cell phones, pornography, and even escape tools into prison yards.
Sponsored by several Senate Republican lawmakers, Senate Bill 2344 adds one year of imprisonment to the sentence of a person convicted of bringing contraband into a prison by drone, in addition to any other penalty handed down by law.
Proponents of the law noted there are inmates willing to go to great lengths to smuggle drugs, cell phones or other banned items into Illinois’ correctional facilities. With the use of drones continuing to increase, the legislation is a proactive measure intended to send a strong message that those who use these tools to send contraband into state prisons will face serious consequences.