Dollars for Drone Detection at Maryland Prisons

The Governor’s Proposed 2017 Operating Budget includes funding for technology that would uncover unmanned aircraft systems at two high-security Maryland State correctional facilities.

The Governor’s budget highlights note the inclusion of the drone-detection funding alongside several other public safety budget items,

Public Safety and Law Enforcement

  • The FY 2017 budget for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services totals $1.42 billion, funding the State’s correctional facilities, parole and probation programs, along with a number of drug treatment and rehabilitation programs both in and outside of facility walls. This includes $849 million to house and rehabilitate a population of more than 20,000 inmates, $128 million to supervise more than 50,000 individuals in the community, and $175 million to detain arrestees and house pretrial offenders.
  • An additional $2.3 million is provided in FY2017 to improve the quality of and access to criminal history records; and $1 million is provided to launch a drone detection pilot program at certain correctional facilities. . .

As described by the Baltimore Sun,

Hogan’s budget proposes installing the technology at prison complexes in Jessup and Cumberland. It comes after an August incident in which authorities caught two men parked outside the Western Maryland prison with a drone and a car full of drugs, pornography, tobacco and a cellphone.

The pair also had a gun, which was too heavy for the drone to carry. Authorities charged the two men, along with an inmate at the complex, with multiple gun and drug offenses.

For more information, see Hogan’s budget calls for drone detection at Maryland prisons from the Baltimore Sun.

For more information on the State Budget, see MACo’s State Budget Documents Page.

For some background regarding MACo’s public safety concerns with drones, see our previous post, General Assembly Passes Drone Bill With Study Amendment.