TDOC To Take Part In FCC Meeting On Contraband

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 | 08:53am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) Commissioner Tony Parker will travel to Washington, DC next month to take part in a meeting with officials from the Federal Communications Commission.  This meeting is the result of a letter of congressional support regarding efforts to reduce contraband in penal facilities. 

The letter, which was addressed to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, was signed by  52 Members of Congress including Tennessee’s own U.S. Representatives David Kustoff, Diane Black, Chuck Fleischmann, Phil Roe and Marsha Blackburn.  The letter references the dangers of contraband cell phones which “are used nationwide by inmates to plan attacks and intimidate victims, witnesses, and correctional staff.”  

The letter also called for a meeting between the FCC, correctional leaders, mobile technology executives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to address these issues and a report to be shared with Congress.  Commissioner Tony Parker and Chief Interdiction Officer Lee Dotson will take part in this vital meeting on February 7, 2018.

Commissioner Parker, who took part in a meeting between the FCC and members of the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) earlier this year, believes the Congressional support of this initiative will make Tennesseans safer.  “The leadership of Congressman Kustoff and the Tennessee delegation shows their commitment to the more than 6-thousand correctional professionals throughout this great State,” says Commissioner Parker.   “Contraband is a national problem and impacts not only our facilities but also the community.  I am proud to be in the fight against contraband because collaborations like these take our interdiction efforts to the next level.”

Chief Interdiction Officer Lee Dotson adds, “Local, state, and national leaders working together to combat this problem sends a strong message that the introduction of contraband will not be tolerated.  These partnerships are invaluable as we move forward to enhance public safety.” 

The Tennessee Department of Correction is encouraged by the ongoing conversations with national leaders on this pressing issue and looks forward to exploring technology to thwart the threat contraband cell phones pose to our institutions.    

Additional materials:

·         The Congressional letter can be found here: FCCLetterReContrabandCellPhones04October2017.pdf  

·         Also, the ASCA letter to the FCC can also be found via this link:

·         The press release from the June 12, 2017 Joint Agency Press Conference can be found here: TDOC Announces Joint Operation Targeting Contraband

·         The letter from the Federal Communications Commission , Office of the Chairman Pai.