Prisons across the world face numerous challenges especially considering the presence of gang members and born criminals. When it comes to the United States, I can say that the condition is no different, and the presence of criminal gangs in the country’s prison pose bigger threats to prison security as well as the safety of prison officials. It is not new that prison officials face attacks and even attempts of murders by criminal gang members largely due to stricter implementation of jail rules. Especially in the wake of the recent technology revolution in the communication sector, the prison security vulnerability has gone manifold and became a major area of concern in the recent years.
The most visible incident in the recent years was the attack towards a Lee Correctional Institution’s prison official. Robert Johnson was serving the South Carolina-based correction center for almost 15 years when he was attacked in 2010 for confiscating a contraband package. The package was deemed to be delivered to a criminal gang member. Within two weeks of the confiscation of the package, Johnson received heavy gun blows while he was at his home. It was a narrow escape from the possible death, and he took a few years to recover from the injuries of attack. I can confirm that it was one of the many attacks that were targeting either prison officials or their relatives by the associates of inmates on various issues.
The investigation agencies found that the criminal gang member was setting up the attack against Johnson for confiscating the package. The inmate was contacting the attackers using a contraband cell phone to instruct them for attacking Johnson. The incident showed the vulnerability of prisons when it comes to modern communication technology. After recovering from the attack, Johnson started raising voice against contraband phones. With his mission to come up with a smart technology to control such phone calls, Johnson decided to collaborate with Securus Technologies, the leading player in prison technology solutions, by starting to work as a paid consultant.
Securus came up with a unique Wireless Containment System that can control the inmate call attempts through contraband phones. Per the official information I read, the system generates a network over every prison where it gets installed. The technology option smartly filters all the incoming and outgoing calls in that network and blocks the call attempts of inmates to anonymous or suspicious numbers.
I cross-verified the efficiency of the system and found that it is producing excellent results. A data published by Securus showed that the WCS filtered nearly 1.7 million unauthorized and illegal attempts of call for one year period. Interestingly, the data was pertaining to just eight prisons it was deployed in the initial phase, and the firm counted the numbers from July 2016.