Wisconsin Governor Signs Bill to Prohibit UAVs Over Prisons

Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., has signed into law A.B.670, which prohibits a person from operating an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over a correctional institution, including any grounds of the institution.

According to the governor, a “correctional institution” is defined as any state or local facility that incarcerates or detains any adult accused of, charged with, convicted of or sentenced for any crime. This includes a state prison, a county jail and a house of correction.

The legislation was authored by Rep. Michael Schraa, R-Oshkosh, and Sen. Richard Gudex, R-Fond du Lac.

When it was passed in the Assembly in February, Schraa said the bill would “help deter criminals from using drones to commit crimes.”

“Correctional officers working at institutions in the 53rd Assembly District asked for legislation to help prevent criminals from using drones to fly weapons and drugs into prisons,” he said.

According to the text of the legislation, violators “may be required to forfeit not more than $5,000.” In addition, [a] law enforcement officer investigating an alleged violation … shall seize and transfer to the department of corrections or authority in charge of the correctional institution any photograph, motion picture, other visual representation, or data that represents a visual image that was created or recorded by a drone during an alleged violation.”


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