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What are the laws that regulate flying around jails?

finity

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I've looked around and can't find anything definitive on restrictions in place for flying near jails.

Does anyone know any federal rules for this? Laws for Indiana specifically would be even better.

I found that there is a federal restriction for anything within 400ft of certain large prisons.

My controller gives me warning that there is a restricted flight area in the vicinity (there is a county jail) and that I should check the map. But otherwise it says that I can freely take off.

Obviously I'm not going to fly directly over the jail or even too close.

But the question is what constitutes "too close"?

What made me even wonder about it is that after I started flying from my backyard today about a half hour later there was an ISP helicopter that started flying pretty low around my house. It circled several times but I had already landed the drone by then when I heard it in the distance and before it came into my area (safety first!) and I'm probably just being paranoid but I kept wondering when there was going to a knock on the door.

Does anyone have any good info to share?
 
B4UFly.aloft.ai
Prisons will be indicated. Use your zip code.
 
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I've looked around and can't find anything definitive on restrictions in place for flying near jails.

Does anyone know any federal rules for this? Laws for Indiana specifically would be even better.

I found that there is a federal restriction for anything within 400ft of certain large prisons.

My controller gives me warning that there is a restricted flight area in the vicinity (there is a county jail) and that I should check the map. But otherwise it says that I can freely take off.

Obviously I'm not going to fly directly over the jail or even too close.

But the question is what constitutes "too close"?

What made me even wonder about it is that after I started flying from my backyard today about a half hour later there was an ISP helicopter that started flying pretty low around my house. It circled several times but I had already landed the drone by then when I heard it in the distance and before it came into my area (safety first!) and I'm probably just being paranoid but I kept wondering when there was going to a knock on the door.

Does anyone have any good info to share?
I live in Indiana also (Near Cincinnati actually). When I checked B4Ufly next to a jailhouse it showed I could fly. However, when I launched my drone, I immediately was warned I was in a restricted area.

So, I sent an email to the sheriff and asked his take on where I can fly. He just asked that I don't fly over the jail, courthouse, or juvenile detention center. He didn't give me any specifics. I cannot find any Indiana law that defines restrictions.
I have found some unofficial references that state it is illegal to operate a drone within 500 feet horizontally or 250 feet vertically of a correctional facility without prior authorization, and violation of this law can result in criminal charges.

But nothing official.
 
You can learn a lot from an internet search about drones flying over prisons. Apparently only federal prisons show up on B4UFly as restricted but it seems that flying over state and county prisons is also not permitted.
 
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I'd not fly on a 1Km radious of any prison, although regulation in my country is 50 meters if I recall correctly.
 
I've done a good bit of communications equipment install at a local state prison that is across the street from our airport (Class C). I had a conversation with one of the guards about people smuggling contraband into the prison. This topic came up because they were now requiring me and my coworkers to remove belts, boots, etc., when they previously did not require those items to be removed. We were only required to fiil out a tool/equipment inventory sheet. The guard told me the many ways that people would attempt the smuggling (which most of us have heard before). Their new smuggling issue was with delivery of contraband OVER the prison fences and nets (the had placed nets similar to golf driving ranges due to people throwing stuff over fences) with drones. I would hesitate to get anywhere near a prison even if you are allowed to take off.
 
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Why would anyone want to fly around a jail/prison. They're not normally very photogenic places. Maybe alcatraz, but no!
Why? To drop contraband into the prison yard.
 
I've looked around and can't find anything definitive on restrictions in place for flying near jails.

Does anyone know any federal rules for this? Laws for Indiana specifically would be even better.

I found that there is a federal restriction for anything within 400ft of certain large prisons.

My controller gives me warning that there is a restricted flight area in the vicinity (there is a county jail) and that I should check the map. But otherwise it says that I can freely take off.

Obviously I'm not going to fly directly over the jail or even too close.

But the question is what constitutes "too close"?

What made me even wonder about it is that after I started flying from my backyard today about a half hour later there was an ISP helicopter that started flying pretty low around my house. It circled several times but I had already landed the drone by then when I heard it in the distance and before it came into my area (safety first!) and I'm probably just being paranoid but I kept wondering when there was going to a knock on the door.

Does anyone have any good info to share?
I think the law is, in one word, DON’T
 
I have a similar problem with mapping near a local prison for a real estate project. Can't find any details but I suspect there is a geo fence out there similar to an authorised zone. 😩
 
I live in Indiana also (Near Cincinnati actually). When I checked B4Ufly next to a jailhouse it showed I could fly. However, when I launched my drone, I immediately was warned I was in a restricted area.

So, I sent an email to the sheriff and asked his take on where I can fly. He just asked that I don't fly over the jail, courthouse, or juvenile detention center. He didn't give me any specifics. I cannot find any Indiana law that defines restrictions.
I have found some unofficial references that state it is illegal to operate a drone within 500 feet horizontally or 250 feet vertically of a correctional facility without prior authorization, and violation of this law can result in criminal charges.

But nothing official.
My advice is to go directly to faasafety.gov and register or check 14 CFR 107.00 . There many free webinars and courses that all can get updated. DJI app as for maps . I don't recommend flying near prisons of any kind. Check rules , operations and regulations in your area . You can also call the nearest FSDO in your area and ask for Drone Pro o the POC . I am sure you will find the answers for all your doubts! As well as all the members here ! Have an excellent day ! Hope this helps you all !
 
I've looked around and can't find anything definitive on restrictions in place for flying near jails.

Does anyone know any federal rules for this? Laws for Indiana specifically would be even better.

I found that there is a federal restriction for anything within 400ft of certain large prisons.

My controller gives me warning that there is a restricted flight area in the vicinity (there is a county jail) and that I should check the map. But otherwise it says that I can freely take off.

Obviously I'm not going to fly directly over the jail or even too close.

But the question is what constitutes "too close"?

What made me even wonder about it is that after I started flying from my backyard today about a half hour later there was an ISP helicopter that started flying pretty low around my house. It circled several times but I had already landed the drone by then when I heard it in the distance and before it came into my area (safety first!) and I'm probably just being paranoid but I kept wondering when there was going to a knock on the door.

Does anyone have any good info to share?
The main law would be common sense.
 
B4UFly.aloft.ai
Prisons will be indicated.

B4UFly doesn't even show any restriction at all over the jail (to clarify...not a prison but just a county jail).

1678632832353.png

But the DJI Geo Map shows it as red.

1678632960300.png
I cannot find any Indiana law that defines restrictions.

Same here. I find that very strange.

I thought about calling the Auburn police station or Dekalb Co. Sheriff to ask but I wanted to "do my own research" :) and at least be knowledgeable before I did. Right now it doesn't seem that's possible.

Why would anyone want to fly around a jail/prison.

I don't. I just want to fly in my backyard or around the town in various parks, etc. and I want to be sure I'm not violating any laws while I do that.

my house is about a half mile away from the jail. And it would be kind of cool to get a fly around of the courthouse but that's right next to the jail and it's not worth it so that definitely won't happen.


Don't what?

fly over? Of course.

Fly near? What is defined as "near"? That's what I'm trying to find out.
 
B4UFly doesn't cover non-federal prisons (as stated in #4), but that doesn't mean there are no state or local restrictions.
Still not convinced, so just give it a try.
 
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B4UFly doesn't cover non-federal prisons (as stated in #4), but that doesn't mean there are no state or local restrictions.
Still not convinced, so just give it a try.
I'm not trying to say there are no restrictions.

I'm just trying (futilely it seems) to find specifically what those restrictions are.
 
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Isn't "Don't fly over prisons" specific enough?
On the other hand give it a go and report back whether or not the guards were able to jam your drone-controller signal or jam the GPS signal. Not all prisons will have the same tools available to prevent overflying.
You could also contact your Indiana government to state laws and your county for local laws.
 
Keep in mind that some states (NC Specifically) have State Regulations which the Federal Aps may not depict. It would be wise to avoid any type of Judicial or Containment Facility because it could shine a very poor light on you and our industry as a whole.

In North Carolina it's clearly defined in the following and this would probably be a good "rule of thumb" for any place you're not sure about:

§ 15A-300.3. Use of an unmanned aircraft system near a confinement or correctional facility prohibited.
(a) Prohibition. – No person, entity, or State agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system within either a horizontal distance of 500 feet, or a vertical distance of 250 feet from any local confinement facility, as defined in G.S. 153A-217, or State or federal correctional facility. For the purpose of this section, horizontal distance shall extend outward from the furthest exterior building walls, perimeter fences, and permanent fixed perimeter, or from another boundary clearly marked with posted notices. Posted notices shall be conspicuously posted not more than 100 yards apart along a marked boundary and comply with Department of Transportation guidelines.

While there are some exceptions there's no need to get that deep into the weeds for this particular thread ...
 
B4UFly doesn't even show any restriction at all over the jail (to clarify...not a prison but just a county jail).

View attachment 161558

But the DJI Geo Map shows it as red.

View attachment 161559


Same here. I find that very strange.

I thought about calling the Auburn police station or Dekalb Co. Sheriff to ask but I wanted to "do my own research" :) and at least be knowledgeable before I did. Right now it doesn't seem that's possible.



I don't. I just want to fly in my backyard or around the town in various parks, etc. and I want to be sure I'm not violating any laws while I do that.

my house is about a half mile away from the jail. And it would be kind of cool to get a fly around of the courthouse but that's right next to the jail and it's not worth it so that definitely won't happen.



Don't what?

fly over? Of course.

Fly near? What is defined as "near"? That's what I'm trying to find out.
In my experience, law enforcement will always tell you not to do it regardless of whether or not there are laws in place.

I was cruising around in my Cessna one day and looked down and saw an odd array of bunk houses. Further investigation revealed that they were inside a large wall with a road running around the complex. Turns out I was over Gratersford SCI in Gratersford, PA. No shots were fired, nobody came looking for me and even further investigation revealed that there were no restrictions to flying overhead outside the normal 1000'.
 
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