Section 1791 of Title 18 defines "prison" to mean a "federal, correctional, detention, or penal facility." The section now applies to illegal aliens awaiting deportation in federal detention facilities. Only activity in federal facilities is covered by Section 1791. Congress intended that this law apply only to inmates (whether convicted in federal or state court) in a federal penal institution. Congress did not seek to extend coverage to federal defendants incarcerated in state institutions since the primary interest in barring contraband from those institutions lies with state and local officials. S.Rep. No. 98-225, 98th Cong., 1st Sess. 382 (1983).
Updated May 22, 2015