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Corrections, Congress 'encouraged' by prison phones meeting

By MEG KINNARD
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Corrections officials and members of Congress say they're encouraged by a meeting with wireless industry representatives over security issues posed by cellphones in the hands of the nation's inmates.

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff of Tennessee tells The Associated Press his state prisons director briefed him after Wednesday's four-hour meeting hosted by the Federal Communications Commission in Washington.

Kustoff has been among those pushing for a fix to the phone problem, which prison officials say is their top security threat. He says he's "encouraged" the FCC is helping facilitate the conversation among law enforcement, prisons officials and wireless providers.

Some advocate cell signal jamming as a way to fix the problem. But wireless industry groups say they worry signal-blocking technologies could thwart legal calls.

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