Initiative banning Drones near Prisons introduced in Illinois Senate

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SPRINGFIELD – Our news partners at WTAX News Radio report Illinois Senator Tim Bivins has introduced a new initiative to ban drones flying near prisons.

According to WTAX, Senator Bivins introduced Senate Bill 2344, which seeks to prevent drones from flying over prison yards and dropping packages containing drugs, pornography, razorblades and other contraband.

WTAX reports this has been an issue in other states. In August, a fight broke out in an Ohio prison after a package containing contraband was dropped over the prison wall. One of the leading concerns associated with the increased popularity of drones is that inmates will get dangerous materials and cellphones deliver to them.

While the Illinois Department of Corrections has not experienced these incidents yet, they are taking a proactive approach to ensure such breaches do not occur.

SB 2344 proposes a punishment of an additional year added to an inmate’s sentence if they are caught smuggling in banned goods. The individuals who fly the drones would also be charged with a misdemeanor.

Senator Bivins tells WTAX, “This bill is designed to keep up with the technology that keeps coming at us every year and we think this will be a deterrent and hopefully prevent an incident here in Illinois.”

Michigan and Wisconsin have also reportedly proposed similar legislation concerning drones and prisons.

The Chicago City Council already passed an ordinance in November prohibiting drones flying over people, personal property and within 5 miles of an airport.

Senate Bill 2344 has been assigned to the Criminal Law Committee and is expected to be brought up in the coming weeks.

WTAX’s full article can be found here.

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