S. 251 (111th): Safe Prisons Communications Act of 2009

Jan 15, 2009 (111th Congress, 2009–2010)
Died (Passed Senate)
Kay Hutchison
Senator from Texas
Read Text »
Last Updated
Oct 06, 2009
21 pages
Related Bills
H.R. 560 (identical)

Referred to Committee
Last Action: Jan 15, 2009


This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the Senate on October 5, 2009 but was never passed by the House.

Introduced Jan 15, 2009
Referred to Committee Jan 15, 2009
Reported by Committee Aug 05, 2009
Passed Senate Oct 05, 2009
Full Title

A bill to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to permit targeted interference with mobile radio services within prison facilities.


No summaries available.

13 cosponsors (7R, 5D, 1I) (show)

House Energy and Commerce

House Judiciary

Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations

Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation

The committee chair determines whether a bill will move past the committee stage.

Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

GovTrack gets most information from THOMAS, which is updated generally one day after events occur. Activity since the last update may not be reflected here. Data comes via the congress project.


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S. stands for Senate bill.

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GovTrack’s Bill Summary

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Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

10/5/2009--Passed Senate amended.
Safe Prisons Communications Act of 2009 -
Section 2 -
Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to authorize the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to permit the supervisory authority of a correctional facility to operate a jamming system within the facility to prevent, jam, or otherwise interfere with unauthorized wireless communications by individuals held in the facility.
Defines "supervisory authority" as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the chief executive officer of a state, or the person in charge of a county or local correctional facility not under the authority of the chief executive officer of a state.
Requires the supervisory authority:
(1) to file a notice of intent with the FCC; and
(2) if requested by the public agencies and commercial mobile service providers identified by the FCC, consult with them to determine the types of equipment, facilities and frequencies in use in the correctional facility's area, and provide testing access to the outer perimeter of the correctional facility.
Authorizes the supervisory authority upon completion of such procedures to file a petition with the FCC to install and operate a jamming system.
Requires FCC action within 60 days of petition receipt.
States that an approved petition shall be: (1) valid for up to five years and renewable; and (2) terminated or suspended if the FCC receives notice from a commercial mobile service provider, supported by affidavit and documentation, that the correctional facility jamming device is interfering with commercial mobile service.
Sets forth jamming use limitations.
Requires a supervisory authority to: (1) destroy a jamming device within 60 days after an authorization expires; (2) destroy a jamming device that is permanently removed from service; (3) certify such destruction to the FCC; and (4) notify the FCC upon acquisition of any jamming device that replaces a destroyed device.
Requires the FCC to maintain a petition database.
Section 3 -
Requires the FCC to promulgate final regulations governing the use of wireless jamming systems in correctional facilities within 180 days of enactment of this Act.
Section 4 -
Requires the FCC to: (1) adopt a final rule within 120 days of enactment of this Act establishing the criteria for the manufacture, sale, importation, and interstate shipment of jamming devices; and (2) maintain a website list of all approved devices.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

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