Changing Prison Security Requirements and the Wireless Containment System from Securus Technologies

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.



Securus Technologies resolves to fight spread of contraband cell phones in prisons

The cellular phone has been one of the major innovations that has allowed for the extremely high standard of living seen not only in America but also throughout the world. Today, someone in Harare can talk, face-to-face, with someone in Harlem, as if the two were not geographically separated at all. This incredible shrinking of the world, making it possible for anyone to instantly communicate with anyone else anywhere on the globe, has been a major driver of economic development and a force for increased education and the sharp reduction of extreme poverty.


In fact, the role that cellular technologies have played in the global economy almost cannot be overstated. In first world countries, nearly everyone has access to smart phones, meaning that all of the world’s knowledge and people are at the very fingertips of the user. This level of interconnectedness, field-leveling in terms of educational opportunities and instant, high-quality communications with anyone in the world is one of the defining characteristics of the modern era.


However, the proliferation, cheapening and incredible increase in features and utility of modern cellular devices has not been good for absolutely everyone. One of the few areas that have been decisively adversely affected by the ever-shrinking cell phone is the U.S. prison industry. Cell phones started becoming a serious problem for America’s prison system in the late 1990s. For the first time, Cell phones became small enough to be easily concealed almost anywhere. They also lowered in cost dramatically, with many service providers beginning to give away cellular devices for free with new sign-ups to their plans.


This created enormous headaches for the nation’s prisons system. Criminal gangs quickly recognized the opportunity that cheap, effective and reliable means of communications with the outside world would provide. Highly organized gangs, such as the Aryan Brotherhood, the Mexican Mafia and the Black Guerrilla Family quickly seized on the opportunity that these cell phones afforded. Before long, gangs were ordering large-scale criminal enterprises to be carried out on the outside of prison by their associates. These included conducing large drug deals, intimidating key witnesses in major conspiracy cases and even ordering hits on prison staff.


The problem of contraband cell phones continued to spiral out of control throughout the 2000s. By the mid-2010s, the scourge of contraband phones in the nation’s prisons reached epidemic proportions. Due to their ability to coordinate with the outside world, gangs were getting the upper hand throughout many of the most violent prisons in the nation. Something needed to be done.


Then Securus Technologies began rolling out its Wireless Containment System. The device is able to block all calls being placed from illegal devices. It promises to permanently end the ongoing catastrophe that the presence of illegal cell phones in the nation’s prisons has created.