WASHINGTON (AP) - Texas and Maryland officials are urging
Congress to approve legislation allowing states to jam illegal cell phones used by prisoners.
Texas State Sen. John Whitmire, whose life was threatened by a death row inmate with a cell phone, says prisons need jamming devices to fight a growing problem.
Maryland's top corrections official, Gary Maynard, is also scheduled to testify at a hearing Wednesday about the legislation. A Maryland inmate was sentenced to life without parole this year for using a cell phone to order the killing of a witness.
But critics say jamming devices could interfere with service to law-abiding citizens and with emergency response. Federal law currently doesn't allow states to use jamming equipment.
Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.