A primary security issue a local, state, and federal correctional facilities in the United States centers on the illegal use of cellphones by inmates. Each and every day, in institutions across the United States, inmates are able to smuggle cellphones into institutions. This oftentimes is accomplished through the institutional visitation process.
The story of Florida correctional officer Robert Johnson underscores the seriousness of illegal cellphones in penal institutions. Johnson was employed at a correctional facility in the Sunshine State when he discovered a box containing contraband intended for the inmate population. His efforts prevented what amounted to about $50,000 worth of contraband from being introduced into the correctional facility.
When this occurred, and in its immediate aftermath, Johnson was unaware that the inmate behind the smuggling operation already had managed to get a cellphone into the facility. Armed with the mobile device, the inmate was able to take action to retaliate against Johnson from blocking the introduction of the contraband into the correctional facility.
The inmate telephoned a colleague outside of the institution. Through a phone call, the inmate ordered a hit on correctional officer Johnson. The associate in the “real world” was ready, will, and able to carry out the hit.
Johnson was preparing for work one morning when the inmate’s associated broke down the correctional officer’s front door. The would be assassin entered the home, opened fire on Johnson. Johnson was shot multiple times and nearly lost his life.
Following the shooting incident, Johnson has devoted his time and energy to telling his story. He is intent on making certain that all correctional institutions in the United States implement effective solutions to eradicate and keep cellphones from the hands of incarcerated offenders.
Securus Technologies has developed an important technology designed to combat the presence of illegal cellphones in correctional institutions. Securus Technologies is a Dallas based company that currently services over 3,400 correction as well as law enforcement agencies in North America. Its reach includes over 1.2 million inmates.
Securus Technologies has created the Wireless Containment Systems, or WCS. WCS is designed to prevent the introduction of cellphones into correctional institutions. It is also designed to eliminate those cellphones that have made it into a facility.
In implanting its WCS, Securus Technologies has kept track of the incidence of illegal phone calls at eight correctional facilities in North America. Based on its own efforts, Securus Technologies has prevented 1.7 million illegal inmate communications at these eight correctional institutions over the course of a one year time period. Understanding that there are thousands of different types of correctional facilities in the United States alone, the problem of illegal inmate communications truly can be classified fairly as being severe and dangerous.