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What are the laws that regulate flying around jails?

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 common sense should dictate any thought of flying near jails..........
 
In North Carolina it's clearly defined
Right and it surprises me that I can't find anything like that for Indiana. But on the other hand the restriction about not flying inside state parks is easily found on plenty of sites discussing the Indiana drone laws. That really doesn't make sense.

I agree that the NC law would be a good rule of thumb as is the FAA restriction around Federal prisons (400ft radius).

In my experience, law enforcement will always tell you not to do it regardless of whether or not there are laws in place.

Unfortunately that seems to be others experiences too. It is unfortunately obvious that many (most?) police don't know what the gun laws are in their states either. I can't see them knowing any more about drone restrictions. Which is why I'm trying to get the info elsewhere from those who would hopefully know.

gives me a warning then stops if I'm too close.

That's kind of what I figured would happen but I didn't want to rely on the controller software for that.

Isn't "Don't fly over prisons" specific enough?

I'm really not trying to be argumentative and I apologize in advance if I'm coming across that way.

But no it's not.

It would be like someone asking "what are the rules for flying around airports?" and the answer being "just don't do it".

Of course I'm not suggesting flying directly over a jail. I've said that several times now.

I'm just asking what the limits are for flying around/in the vicinity of them.

I think I have my answer (that there doesn't seem to be any known for Indiana) so I think I'll just leave it here unless someone has any better specific info on it.

On a related note I found out why the ISP helicopters were flying low around my house yesterday.

There was a fairly high profile (local?) police officer who was killed in the line of duty and they had his funeral yesterday with lots of other police presence just a few blocks from my house. I had no idea.

I definitely was being paranoid (which I figured) but at least it sparked the thought about this topic. So I guess that was a good thing. :)
 
TLDR thread summary...

The only federal rules will be found on B4UFly. There are only federal rules over federal facilities. States are not allowed to close airspace above prisons, but some do. They aren't technically legal closures, but that means you need to challenge it to have it removed from the books. And to challenge it, you need to be cited.

And you probably don't want to do that.

If you have to fly near a prison, simply go inside, and let them know who you are, what you're doing, and where you'll be flying. They'll appreciate. And ask if they want to you stop back by and let them know when you're done.

And odds are that if it's a larger prison, they'll know you're there anyway.

I've done this at my local federal correctional facility. They do appreciate the heads up.
 
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What do you me "stops if I'm too close"? Does the drone stop and fall to the ground?
If it flies up to the GEO fenced area, it just stops and won't go any closer. If you're inside the GEO Fence, it won't arm the motors.
 
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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.
It's a general rule, that you can't park near a prison or fly drones near them, the thinking is you will be dropping drugs off to some inside. Unless you want to be detained as well. don't fly near them.
 
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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 have done some testing of the DOC Anti-Drone System here in Ky, They knew immediately when my drone was turned on and I could not fly past the perimeter fence. Phantom 4 and Mini 2 would not fly forward.
 
I have done some testing of the DOC Anti-Drone System here in Ky, They knew immediately when my drone was turned on and I could not fly past the perimeter fence. Phantom 4 and Mini 2 would not fly forward.
Unless those are Federal Prisons, if they're still using it, they are violating both FAA and FCC laws.

To date, no state or local prison has received permissions to restrict their airspace.
 
I know about Dedrone, and they don't allow that type of use. "Dedrone technology is completely passive and complies with federal and state privacy law." From the article.

So basically they're not GEO Fencing the facility. They can't legally. State agencies aren't allowed to electronically interfere with aircraft.

If it worked while they were testing it with you, it can't be active now. If it is, they're asking for a world of trouble from the Feds.
 
I know about Dedrone, and they don't allow that type of use. "Dedrone technology is completely passive and complies with federal and state privacy law." From the article.

So basically they're not GEO Fencing the facility. They can't legally. State agencies aren't allowed to electronically interfere with aircraft.

If it worked while they were testing it with you, it can't be active now. If it is, they're asking for a world of trouble from the Feds.
That's way above my pay-grade. lol.. I'll let the State fight that out with the Fed's.
 
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B4UFly.aloft.ai
Prisons will be indicated. Use your zip code.
If flying 1 ft outside the fence is legal and flying 1 inch inside is a serious felony where You will lose your drone and your freedom, then consider it a "No Fly Zone" like the Whitehouse or a Baseball Stadium and DONT Fly over it. The more popular the prison, The more popular your house will be to the state/ federal prison authority, The FAA, Sherrif's Dept and the local and state police. They will all be tired of this and will assume You know where the "Zero Ft Limit" is and some will know the windspeed and direction to tell you if you were legal to fly there. At great windspeed you might not be able to fly a mile away upwind of the fence. Anything dropped onto that prison during your flight time, You coud be held legally responsible for. **Tell Em To Get There Own Drugs**, the normal way, through your lawyers briefcase and not with a noisy toy with blinking lights out in front of everybody that can be traced back to you
 
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?
You'll find the airspace crowded near prisons. Watch out for other drones dropping drugs and weapons.
 
If flying 1 ft outside the fence is legal and flying 1 inch inside is a serious felony where You will lose your drone and your freedom, then consider it a "No Fly Zone" like the Whitehouse or a Baseball Stadium and DONT Fly over it.
The only prisons that have legally closed airspace are federal prisons. Some states have passed laws, but if push comes to shove, they will lose a challenge on Federal Preemption.
The more popular the prison, The more popular your house will be to the state/ federal prison authority, The FAA, Sherrif's Dept and the local and state police.
Nope, fear mongering. See above.
They will all be tired of this and will assume You know where the "Zero Ft Limit" is and some will know the windspeed and direction to tell you if you were legal to fly there. At great windspeed you might not be able to fly a mile away upwind of the fence. Anything dropped onto that prison during your flight time, You coud be held legally responsible for. **Tell Em To Get There Own Drugs**, the normal way, through your lawyers briefcase and not with a noisy toy with blinking lights out in front of everybody that can be traced back to you
That makes no sense.
 
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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 ...
I'm planning a construction site progress mission on a site which is 300' from the County jail in NC. You should note that the sub-paragraphs of 15A-300.3 allow "commercial entities" to fly as close as 150' horizontally and 150' vertically if 24 hours written notice is provided to the person responsible for running the detention facility.
 
I think common sense should dictate any thought of flying near jails..........
Except that not all jails are like, out in the middle of corn fields or whatever and many are in just regular old buildings in urban areas. In Baltimore, for example, there's a jail downtown right near the most touristy areas and in a spot that's perfect for urban shots, which DJI gives you a very stern warning about flying near. So you could be flying over a random block downtown and fly right over the local detention facility without having any idea.
 
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 noticed that my AIRMAP app as well as the link provided earlier in this thread (B4UFly) showed nothing when I focused on a local correctional facility however when I flew in the vicinity I had some truly strange connectivity issues with my drone (Mini 2) and at close range. Perhaps similar to what Randy mentions. The big irony here is that I was flying near this "facility" not really knowing what it was. I was focused on nearby landscapes. I actually was quite nervous as my ability to control the drone was more erratic than ever. Brought it back and called it a day. Anyway, thought I would chime in. I guess giving it a try is one approach; especially if the facility is not showing up when you do your homework ahead of time. Interesting thread.
 
I have done some testing of the DOC Anti-Drone System here in Ky, They knew immediately when my drone was turned on and I could not fly past the perimeter fence. Phantom 4 and Mini 2 would not fly forward.
Are you sure that was them and not the DJI Fly app that was blocking you from flying over the facility?

As mentioned there doesn't seem to be a way for the facility to (legally?) block you from the airspace but the DJI app can do pretty much whatever it wants. I haven't tested it (not going to either...at least intentionally) but that's seems more likely to me.
 
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Are you sure that was them and not the DJI Fly app that was blocking you from flying over the facility?

As mentioned there doesn't seem to be a way for the facility to (legally?) block you from the airspace but the DJI app can do pretty much whatever it wants. I haven't tested it (not going to either...at least intentionally) but that's seems more likely to me.
Yes, the Head Security Officer was the one that coordinated me testing the system. He was in radio contact with the security office, standing beside me, and they told me what drone I had in the air and where it was in relationship to the prison perimeter. I used my Phantom 4, Mini 2. and one of my Yuneec Typhoon H's.
 
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