Nearly 500 mobile phones were seized at jails in Lancashire last year.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that Kirkham Prison had the second highest number of discoveries in the North West, with 368 phones confiscated at the men’s Category D jail in Freckleton Road.
Lancaster Farms young offenders institution had the fifth highest number of seizures, with 90, and the men’s category B Garth Prison in Ulnes Walton, near Leyland, came eighth, with 31.
Preston Prison, a men’s Category B jail, recovered six phones, and the now defunct Lancaster Castle, a men’s Category C prison, only two before it closed in March.
Mobile phone seizures totalled 497 in Lancashire and more than 1,500 in the North West in 2011.
The privately run Altcourse Prison in Liverpool had the highest number of discoveries, with 630 mobile phones recovered.
The figures provided by the Ministry of Justice include mobile phone handsets, sim cards or mobile phones with either a sim card or a memory stick inside, found on prisoners, visitors, staff, contractors and within prison grounds.
Julia Prescott, deputy governor at Kirkham Prison, said its high figure showed the effectiveness of its security measures.
She said: “I think the fact that there is such a high number of mobile phones we have found shows that we’re very active in looking for mobile phones and looking for any contraband that is coming into the prison.
“Kirkham is an open prison with low risk, Category D prisoners.
“We have prisoners going out every day into the community as it’s all about resettling people back into communities and getting them ready for release.
“We do search them on a regular basis and we work on intelligence that we get as well, but mobile phones are obviously quite valued by prisoners.
“The cost of the pin pay phones that they have to use in prison to call their friends and families are quite expensive.
“They are more expensive than some of the tariffs you can get on a mobile phone and that is a national issue we have been trying to deal with, to get the cost of the pin phones lowered to discourage people from having mobile phones.
“That is one of the reasons why prisoners use them but also they can use them for illicit purposes and to organise crime and that’s why we’re trying to prevent them coming into the prison.”
She said the prison used equipment including search dogs, mobile phone signal detectors, body orifice security scanners and high sensitivity metal detecting wands, which can detect internally concealed mobile phones.
She added: “I think that is why we are quite successful in getting so many mobile phones back off prisoners.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said the National Offender Management Service remained “committed to addressing the risks that mobile phones present to security and to the safety of the public”.
He said: “We operate a strategy designed to minimise the number of mobile phones entering prisons, to find phones that do get in and to disrupt mobile phones that cannot be found.”