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Offenburg Prison began testing signal jammers in August 2019


Mobile phones are effectively banned in German prison cells. However, because inmates were repeatedly caught with cell phones, Offenburg Prison began testing signal jammers in August 2019. According to an initial assessment, so-called cell phone jammer in prisons are working: "As expected, there is radio silence about the unauthorized use of cell phones," Baden-Wurttemberg Justice Minister Ulrich Goel (FDP) told German news agency dpa in Stuttgart.

Phone deal 'not a problem'

Cell phone blockers make cell phones unusable in prisons. "Injunctions between prisoners, illegal business organized through mobile phones or preparations for escape are not a problem in Offenburg."

The new, partially privatised correctional centre in Offenburg is the first prison in Germany to use its jamming network to suppress mobile phone traffic. The Federal Cyber Agency approved a six-month testing phase in August. The installation and commissioning of the Offenburg plant cost around €1 million.


Minister Goll is planning to build further Sturgeon systems at Stammheim prison in Stuttgart. Construction of new dormitories for 580 beds will begin this year. The old prison skyscraper is due to be demolished by 2012 - for many it epitomises the conflict between the terrorist group Red Army Faction and the state.

Modern technology can interfere with the reception of institutional sites with great precision. No permanent frequency interference. The interceptor is activated only when a mobile radio signal is detected. And then this happens at computer speed, that is, faster than humans. According to Goll, jammers are the most effective way to stop cell phone trafficking in prisons. Simple cell phone tracking devices are only effective when making calls in real time.