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Addressing Contraband in Prisons and Jails as the Threat of Drone Deliveries Grows

NCJ Number
Corrections Today
Date Published
June 2023

This article summarizes five reports that offer foundational insights from use cases on stopping the flow of contraband into prisons and jails while highlighting challenges of contraband detection; it discusses the use of drones to deliver contraband and the resultant need to develop technologies to detect illicit drone flights, and some general considerations and questions on the topic.


Prison and jail leaders and staff need new, more sophisticated means of stopping and seizing contraband before it reaches a facility's population. One concern is the growing capabilities of drones that can deliver contraband into a facility. To help correctional leaders make the right decisions to slow or stop the flow of contraband, the National Institute of Justice has created a series of reports that identifies and assesses an array of contraband risks and reviews technologies and strategies to address them. These reports were developed by NIJ's Criminal Justice Testing and Evaluation Consortium.

Date Published: June 1, 2023