Television is awash with programs about life in prisons and other types of correctional institutions. If a person takes a glance at any one of these shows, he or she is apt to begin to get an understanding of the problem of illegal cellphones among the offender population in correctional institutions.
The problems persists on the local, state, and federal level, in all types of institutions, from jails to even more secure prisons. The stark reality is that illegal cellphones in correctional facilities can have significantly negative consequences. Indeed, the presence of cellphones in correctional facilities presents one of the most significant security risks at these institutions.
The danger of illegal cellphones in prisons is not confined to correctional facilities. The dangers associated with inmates have possession of illegal cellphones extends to the general public.
The story of former Florida correctional officer Robert Johnson underscores the serious threat to institutional security and public safety that occurs when incarcerated individuals have access to illegal cellphones.
Robert Johnson was at work at the institution where he served as a correctional officer. The day was largely uneventful until he came upon a box containing contraband. An inmate, or group of inmates, was attempting to have the box brought into the institution. The contraband in the box had an estimated value of about $50,000. This event occurred about seven years ago.
In the immediate aftermath of Johnson preventing the introduction of the valuable contraband into the Florida correctional institution, the inmate behind the operation was enraged. The inmate determined that he would exact revenge on Johnson.
The inmate possessed an illegal cellphone, a device that he previously had smuggled into the correctional institution. With the cellphone, the inmate was able to plan a hit on Johnson.
Early one morning, the inmate’s associated broke into Johnson’s home. He shot the correctional officer multiple times.
Despite early fears that he would not survive the shooting, Johnson lived. He has not made it his life mission to eradicate cellphones from correctional institutions.
Securus Technologies is also involved in the effort to eradicate cellphones from correctional institutions. Securus Technologies is the industry leader in North America when it comes to technological solutions to enhance correctional institution security. A newer technology from Securus Technologies is its Wireless Containment System, WCS.
WCS works to prevent the introduction of cellphones into correctional facilities. WCS is also designed to identify and eliminate cellphones that somehow made their way into correctional institutions. This technology joins other solutions from Securus Technologies designed to enhance institutional security.
In implementing WCS, Securus Technologies kept track of the number of illegal inmate communications prevented. Over a one year period of time, at eight institutions, Securus Technologies prevented a remarkable 1.7 million illegal communications involving incarcerated offenders.