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.