Flying Drones Over Alabama Prisons Now a Felony

Estimated read time 2 min read

In a move to combat the growing issue of Contraband being smuggled into prisons via drones, Alabama has enacted a law making it a Class C felony to operate an unmanned aircraft over a prison. This legislation, reportedly sponsored by Rep. Matt Simpson, aims to address the significant increase in such incidents over the past couple of years.

The Problem of Contraband

The issue of contraband being dropped into prisons via drones has been on the rise in Alabama. In 2023, there were 17 known instances, nearly triple the number in 2022. As of April this year, there were already 13 instances, highlighting the need for stricter measures.

Penalties and Forfeiture

Operating a drone over a prison in Alabama will now result in a Class C felony charge, punishable with up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Additionally, any drone or unmanned aircraft system found to have flown over a prison will be subject to civil forfeiture.

DroneXL’s Take

This new law in Alabama reflects the growing concern about the misuse of drones for illegal activities. As we have seen in recent articles, the use of drones for contraband smuggling is not unique to Alabama, and it is essential for authorities to take proactive measures to prevent such incidents. This legislation sets a strong precedent for other states to follow, ensuring the safety and security of correctional facilities.

Photo shows the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

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