Federal prisons taking aim at special (illicit) deliveries from the sky

Canada's prison service has earmarked $6 million for electronic systems to prevent tiny drones from dropping illegal drugs, cellphones or other contraband into the yards of its institutions.

The Correctional Service of Canada is alarmed by recent cases of small, easily purchased flying devices delivering forbidden items to prisoners from the air.

The prison service also fears the camera-equipped copters could be used in illicit surveillance operations to glean intelligence that might help with escapes.

It also wants to be able to catch anyone on the ground attempting to just throw a package of contraband over a perimeter fence.

The service is seeking a contractor to supply, install and test intrusion-detection systems as well as provide training on how to operate and maintain them.

The systems will be tested in a pilot project at six prisons over the next four years with an eye to a cross-country rollout.