TDOC U.S. Attorney's Investigation

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 | 12:51pm

NASHVILLE – The primary mission of the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) is to enhance public safety.  TDOC is committed to providing rehabilitative programs to individuals who desire to take advantage of these programs and become productive citizens.  But, those who choose to continue to engage in criminal activity will face the consequences of their actions.  TDOC will use every asset at our disposal to identify, pursue, and prosecute those engaged in violent criminal activity.  As indicated in the U.S. Attorney’s news release, TDOC has been actively engaged in this investigation and has dedicated countless resources to ensure justice is served and individuals involved in such illegal activity as outlined in the investigation are held accountable.

TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker serves on the federal task force that examines countermeasures to prevent the introduction and use of cell phones into correctional facilities.  “This is just another example of illegal cell phones being used by convicted felons to communicate and conspire with criminals in the free-world to proliferate criminal activity,” Parker said.  “We believe there is only one viable solution in fighting the war on contraband cell phones in our facilities and that is through the deployment of shielded-micro jamming technology.  Shielded micro-jamming uses lower power technology to focus energy effectively on the target area while limiting signal disruption outside of the target area.  We are working with federal lawmakers and the Department of Justice to find ways to promote shielded micro- jamming.”

Although our agency was awarded a grant through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to conduct a pilot program using shielded micro-jamming, the Communications Act of 1934 prevents the use of this type of technology. 

“In the fight against contraband cell phones, we run into a brick wall time and time again,” Parker said.  “Our hands are tied with a near century old law that could not have foreseen the problem of illegal cell phones inside prisons in 2021.”

Corrections Commissioners across the country agree it is time to move on and use the reliable technology (shielded micro-jamming) that will resolve this significant security threat that makes possible the type of illegal activity that leads to criminal conspiracies between people inside our correctional environment and those on the outside.

“The 2005 murder of TDOC Correctional Officer Wayne “Cotton” Morgan provides another example of the severe security threat caused by contraband cell phones.  Officer Morgan was killed during an ambush orchestrated through the use of a contraband cell phone.  The time is now to enhance public safety by using shielded micro jamming technology that renders contraband cell phones inoperable and useless.”

U.S. Attorney’s News Release: