Detecting Hidden Items and Substances in the Surrounding Environment On this page find: Items in the Surrounding Environment Detecting Substances Present in the Surrounding Environment Detecting Hidden Items in the Surrounding Environment Contraband cell-phone use in correctional facilities can allow convicted offenders to continue their illegal activities from behind bars. Detection technology that can help corrections officials locate contraband cell phones being used in prisons could help prevent future crimes. To further these capabilities, NIJ is funding Intelligent Automation, Inc., to develop an electronic detection system that can detect and locate wireless communication devices inside or outside of buildings. NIJ-funded engineers are developing a prototype to be tested and evaluated in a correctional facility. This technology pinpoints location by analyzing the arrival of radio waves from a cell phone at different locations. See also Cell Phones in Prisons​. Detecting Substances Present in the Surrounding Environment Law enforcement gathers investigative information by detecting chemical substances at crime scenes. Detection technology can alert authorities to the possible presence of illegal drugs or chemicals used in their manufacture â€” for instance, in home-based methamphetamine labs. This technology also may detect chemicals that could be used to make homemade bombs. See also Detecting Drugs on Surfaces Quickly and Easily. Next section: Enhanced Surveillance. Date Created: August 29, 2012