Technology has affected all aspects of our lives. It has made our lives much easier and helps us get things done easily and efficiently. But, if the technology is put in the wrong hands, it does more bad than good. Let me give you an example of a cell phone. It helps connect people from different parts of the world and help overcome many problems. But, cell phones are also being used by criminals and drug dealers to spread their operations around the world. Even in places where cell phones are prohibited, they can pose threats to human lives. Criminals have been using contraband inside the prison to carry out illegal activities even after being locked inside the prison. They can control their operations as they would have done outside.
It is where the efforts of Securus Technologies come into play. Their wireless containment systems are being utilized by many prisons to prevent the inmates from making calls outside the prison. The company sets up a cell phone network inside the prisons that allow calls from known numbers and blocks all others numbers. The technology has helped block more than 1.7 million illegal calls from inmates so far.
Cell phones being used by inmates pose a threat to the life of the life of security officers and their family members. The story of Robert Johnson is the one that has helped Securus Technologies to develop advanced technologies that can make prisons safer and can keep the phones away from the inmates. Robert Johnson was an officer in the Lee Correctional Institution where his job was to prevent the inmates from using cell phones and confiscate as many as he could found. It was in the early morning of March 5, 2010, that a few intruders entered his house and shot him multiple times in the hallway while his wife was sleeping in the bedroom. Just a few weeks back, he had caught a large consignment of contraband that was to arrive in the prison for the inmates and had angered many of them.
Even though he spent a few weeks in the hospital, Robert survived the attack, and the ex-convict, Sean Echols, who was responsible for the attack was convicted of attempted murder. Some people contacted him using a contraband cell phone and asked him to kill Robert. The attack has motivated Robert to help solve the problem of contraband cell phones in prison. Robert currently works as a freelancer with Securus Technologies and assisting the company to develop Wireless Containment System to identify the usage of cell phones in prison. Over the years, Securus Technologies has helped prisons become safer not just inside but also for the officers and their loved ones.
I am part of a team of corrections officers that works in the most dangerous jail in our country. Not only do we have the biggest gang population, we have the biggest grouping of inmates who are serving life sentences. What that means is you are in close quarters with inmates who have very little to lose if they do something bad in the prison. For these inmates, getting another life sentence on top of an existing life sentence means absolutely nothing, so they are unpredictable and extremely dangerous if not watched closely.
Add into the mix the fact that these inmates will do just about anything to get drugs and weapons in their cells, and now you have a deadly combination that puts me and my team in harm’s way each and every day. Me and my fellow officers have to work very hard to maintain order while stopping the flow of illegal contraband into the prison on a daily if not hourly basis.
While security checks in the visitor center and surprise cell inspections has taken a large amount of contraband out of the system, our most effective resource came from a very unlikely source. When Securus Technologies updated our inmate phone call monitoring system, we struck gold as far as our ability to put a real choke hold on drugs in the jail. Once my team could use the LBS software, we got hourly alerts of drug concerns.
One call alerted us to the fact an inmate was paying a friend to smuggle heroin into the visitor center. Another call revealed where an inmate hid a large amount of cocaine in the jail. We have been able to even pick up chatter with inmates talking about how they plan to sell drugs in the jail to be able to raise cash for gang leaders.
Securus Technologies new innovation has a bunch of different applications that are all helpful to the criminal justice industry. If you have never heard of this company before, they are essentially a telephone company. They also provide Internet and video chat services to prisons that they have contracts with. Essentially, prisoners inside the prison that Securus Technologies has a contract to serve must make phone calls through this telecommunications company.
This allows Securus Technologies to intercept every single telephone call made in a prison that they have a contract with. Each of these telephone calls are recorded and logged by the telecommunications company. This creates quite a mountain of digital information. It would be mind-bogglingly impossible to search through all of this information by hand.
Securus Technologies gives law enforcement a powerful software innovation that allows officials to dig deep into this mountain of digital information. It can search all of these recorded telephone calls instantly. You can tell it to flag certain phrases or it can search for a singular person’s voice. This allows law enforcement officials to listen to every single phone call made by a person of interest.
This kind of technology has already been proven to prevent crimes. Law enforcement officers can gather detailed information about the flow of contraband into and out of prisons. But there are more applications for this kind of technology.
The technology allows police officers to understand which criminals are involved with each other. They can also record damning evidence that can be used for a conviction in a court of law. And the technology allows law enforcement officials to decode slang terms. This technology really makes it difficult to get anything by law enforcement officials. That is why I am rooting for Securus Technologies get more government contracts across the country.