The vast majority of us live under a blanket of security that we all too often take for granted. This is the security that is provided to us by correctional officers. They are literally on the front lines making sure that inmates are not able to carry out the kind of destruction and carnage that they might like to do if they had ample opportunity. Fortunately, companies like Securus Technologies exist to help keep this at bay.
If you do not believe that there are real risks to inmates having communication devices that connect to the outside world, then you have not heard the story of ex-correctional officer Robert Johnson.
The Lee Correctional Institute in South Carolina is a place that Johnson called his work for many years. He and other officers did their best to patrol the place and keep the outside public safe from the potential harm that could have been caused by those inside. This frequently meant intercepting packages of contraband that they inmates had coming their way. In fact, one incident in particular nearly cost Mr. Johnson his life.
There was a contraband package that arrived in Lee Correctional Institute that is believed to have had a value of approximately $50,000. At least that is the rumor that the prison gang had passed along among one another. This rumor meant that when Johnson intercepted the package, he was directly in the line of fire from the prison gang. They were out for blood, and they were not going to stop until they got it.
They sent a hit out for Johnson at his own home. He was targeted because they believed he had intercepted their package. A man broke into his home and shot Johnson a number of times. Although he was able to pull through and survive, it was one of the most horrid experiences that a person could ever have to go through. It also illustrated the fact that cell phones in the hands of inmates can lead to extremely dangerous situations.
Securus Technologies has partnered with a number of prisons to try to cut down on the use of cell phones by prison inmates in the first place. They want those devices to simply be off limits to those who are serving time. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. This is not about being mean to prison inmates, it is about helping to make sure the public is completely safe when they are just trying to go about their business. This is exactly what Securus Technologies wants to see happen, and it is what they have been striving for since day one. They have made a lot of progress in stopping these types of attacks, and there is more progress on their horizon.
I am employed in a state prison as a guard, and I can tell you first hand how invaluable a service Securus Technologies has provided our facility. To start, our jail has become one of the most violent in all of California, mostly due to the increase in gang population over the last decade. These gangs think they run the prison, and they try to rule with an iron fist and make examples of those who do not comply, including the police.
My superiors have realized over the last few years that officers need help because the gang population continues to explode. Each time younger offenders reach are jail and are recruited, the gangs get stronger. The only things we can do to try and turn things around is limit access to weapons and drugs, to help keep the inmates from being in a more dominant position.
In the past, the only way that we could do this was to scan inmates and guests and the visitor center for contraband. If we could stop guests from bringing things to the jail and inmates from bringing those items to their cells, we could reduce violent episodes in the prison. That was all about to change when we reached out to Securus Technologies to update our jail phone system.
Securus Technologies makes telephone monitoring systems that are software driven, allowing my team of officers to be able to get back on the front lines instead of being stuck in a room listening to phone calls all day. If the LBS software picks up on conversations related to illegal activity, the alert goes out and now we are in a very unique position to be able to get ahead of the trouble.
With the help of Securus Technologies, violence has significantly dropped in our facility over the last six months.
Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, prisoners housed throughout the nation’s network of penal institutions have generally had access to telecommunications devices. For most of the 20th century, this consisted mainly of having access to pay phones. However, with the advent of new, internet-based communication technologies, prisoners suddenly had at their disposal many more options for keeping in touch with the outside world.
But this brought with it a number of serious concerns. Chief among those was the fact that prisoners can potentially use these new communications devices as means to further criminal activity taking place behind prison walls. The need to closely monitor prison communications devices for potential illegal activity became a prominent goal of the nation’s prison communications companies. Starting in the early 2000’s, one company, Securus Technologies, began rolling out solutions that gave prison staff the ability to closely monitor their in-house communications, keeping a check on criminal activity taking place over prison telephone systems.
Today, Securus has a full suite of investigatory, security and anti-crime solutions for all of its prison communications platforms. The most prominent of these is its flagship product, JLG Investigator Pro. Capable of detecting the voices and positively identifying any party on the system, JLG Investigator Pro uses advanced biometric techniques to keep unwanted parties off of prison telephone systems as well as flagging conversations that involve people who are known criminals. The system is also capable of automatically monitoring for suspicious activity, including the use of code words and references to contraband or other illegal activities. The system even has the ability to automatically prioritize the monitoring of conversations, automatically sifting through every conversation that takes place over the prison communication systems and only bringing to the attention of prison staff the most pressing concern. This frees up guards and other staff to do their jobs more effectively.