Incarceration services are one of the most challenging jobs in the world due to handling different types of inmates, controlling them, and more. I must say that it is one of the riskiest jobs as well due to mental and physical abuses faced by the officials. Lack of proper technology in place is making the job very difficult to manage and many times reactionary in nature. Just go through the story of Robert Johnson, the former correctional officer at Lee Correctional Institution – a South Carolina prison – with primary responsibilities of confiscating contraband phones.
In March 2010, he was attacked by an intruder inside his home by gunshots and narrowly escaped from death. Two weeks before the attack, Johnson had seized a package belongs to a prison gang, for which they retaliated by setting their gang members outside. Strangely, they contacted the members outside using contraband cell phones, which prison officials could not track. Contraband phones are considered to be the biggest threat to prison safety and security. I can say that this is not an isolated incident but has repeated to many prison officials and their relatives for implementing proper incarceration process per law. All of such attacks are carried out over contraband cell phones.
In March 2017, Johnson appeared before the regulator, Federal Communication Commission and explained the risks associated with the contraband phones inside the prison. Interestingly, Johnson is now part of Securus Technologies as a paid consultant. I should say that the firm has developed a smart Wireless Containment Systems to restrict contraband phone calls in the recent years. A spokesperson of Securus confirmed that the company is literally putting a new network, and the operator can decide to block or allow the phone calls in the network. The antenna of the system tracks all calls both incoming and outgoing from the prison.
I want to fairly admit the capability of WCS as it is the only interdiction technology for contraband phones which is effective in the prison environment. Even FCC is aware of the serious threats the incarceration departments face, and it voted in early-2017 for streamlining the process of interdiction technology, like WCS from Securus, at the correctional facilities. I can say that it would significantly reduce the paperwork and time for approval for connecting with various wireless carriers. There are reports that the changed process even prompted the public to ask the elected representatives to install the system in correctional facilities.
Securus released the data of WCS, what it captured, recently. It showed that nearly 1.7 million contraband call attempts had been blocked by the system in just eight correctional centers over a period of one year from July 2016. Securus confirms that it has invested more than $40 million for creating the proven, errorless interdiction system – the Wireless Containment Solutions.
I am currently working in a local jail as a corrections officer, and this year the violence has escalated to a point that me and my team have had to use some unconventional methods to keep order. The issue we have in this facility is we have the same staff of officers but the inmate population has doubled in the last three years. Cells should only have four inmates, but are stuffed with eight in many cases. This makes this very problematic because tensions are at an all time high.
Now if you bring drugs into this already dangerous situation, not only are officers in trouble, but so are inmates, guests, and staff. Inmates have found some very creative ways to get the drugs into the jail, and we have a limited team but are doing a good job locating many of the spots that are vulnerable to problems. One area we attack hard is the visitor center, trying to keep guests from bringing the inmates any contraband that could be used in the jail to make trouble for all.
In the past, we used to have to designate some of our team to the call center to pay attention to what the inmates were discussing. That took away resources we could have used elsewhere to maintain order. Now that Securus Technologies has installed their monitoring system in our facility, we can get those officers back out where they can be more productive. The LBS software does the work of those officers, scanning every word of every call, isolating certain chatter and alerting my team the instant trouble has been detected.
Now when inmates are discussing drugs in the cells, weapons in the yard, fighting in the mess hall, or acquiring any sorts of contraband, my team is able to eliminate any threats.
For the people that are incarcerated across the nation, they have a need to want contact with their loved ones. Securus Technologies provides the inmates with the means to do so. The prisoners are able to communicate with their loved ones by special video. All the parties that are involved are happy with the way that this technology has assisted them.
Securus Technologies is always interested in hearing from their customers. Positive feedback allows the company to continue to create more technologies every week. People are also welcome to visit their site in Texas to see what they are working on. They will be given a presentation so that the people will be able to understand the importance of the technologies.
Since the company deals with over a million prisoners a year, they are adept at various ways of making the world a safer place. It is their goal to do so. The company has many different clients, and one of their biggest ones is the US government. They are in contracts with them at all times, and they work in both the civil and criminal sectors of justice in order to create safer environments. The future looks fantastic for the company as they create even more intricate technologies. They are the leader in their field, and their professional and educated staff are dedicated to making their company stand out from all the rest.
I am part of a team of corrections officers that works in a very dangerous and crowded prison. We rely on each other to stay safe behind prison walls, because these inmates are looking around the clock for any opportunity to get an advantage over authority. These inmates are in their cells the majority of the day, so they are able to think of ways they can game the system and spot opportunities to do things they should not.
To try and control the flow of any contraband that could give these inmates an advantage, me and my team have to stand guard at the visitor center each day and make sure nothing gets from visitor to inmate. Drugs are a huge problem in the jail, and whether they are selling the drug or using them, it puts me and my team in grave danger. We can only do so much with the staff we have.
When Securus Technologies installed our call monitoring system for listening to inmate calls, it gave us the opportunity to make things harder as far as inmates getting contraband. Securus Technologies CEO Richard Smith is responsible for the call monitoring system being installed in over 2,500 jails around the country. His team all are working towards one objective, making our world safer.
Once I was taught by the team at Securus Technologies to use the LBS software, it was like having another dozen officers on the job. This system works nonstop and can identify key chatter concerning drugs, weapons, and gangs. It wasn’t long after i was listening for chatter about drugs that I began to hear certain inmates talking about one of our officers. His family would only come on days this officer was working, later revealing he was a corrupt staff member taking money in exchange for letting these visitors hand inmates any of the contraband they needed.
Thanks to the Securus Technologies system, our team is safer and drug use is now on the decline.