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Ohio Officials Say Unmanned Drones Will 'Improve' Prison Security

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Ohio might have just found another way the government can use drones.

Technically an unmanned blimp, the Buckeye State will begin using what it calls an "aerostat" to monitor what's going on inside of and outside of two of its rehabilitation and correctional facilities, Gizmodo reported.

The Aerostat is equipped with a high definition camera with an infrared device allowing it to see through the walls and roofs of the Lebanon and Warren facilities.

Photo credit: Shutterstock Photo credit: Shutterstock

State officials said the new technology will be helpful while trying to detect when prisoners try smuggling in contraband items or tossing those items over the fence to outsiders.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections would test the equipment for six months in order to evaluate whether the technology can improve security in a cost-effective way.

Gary Daniels of the ACLU's Ohio chapter said the idea doesn't raise many concerns for him. The ACLU is much more concerned about the government using drones to spy on free citizens, he said.

Ed Voorhie, the DRC managing director of operations, said the technology would not put any current prison jobs at risk.

"This is meant to augment and improve our security envelope in what is a very real issue for us which is keeping the bad guys inside of the fence and keeping other bad guys from coming onto our property to do bad things, which is convey contraband," Voorhie said.

(H/T: Gizmodo)

Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

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