As a corrections officer, I have to be working diligently each day to ensure that illegal contraband is not getting into the hands of the inmates. This can be a very frustrating process because we are not only outnumbered by inmates, the visitors are sometimes willing to risk jail themselves to help out their family or friends. Add gangs into the mix, and you have a steady flow of contraband trying to get into the jail with only so many resources at our disposal.
On any given day, me and my fellow officers start by getting to the visitor center to search every person who comes into the prison. They are not allowed to see the inmates carrying anything, and they know they risk jail time if they are in fact caught trying to pass anything to those inmates. The number of people that pass through the gates on any given day is enormous, and it only takes one person to get one item into the jail to make it a dangerous situation for anyone inside.
When our superiors notified us that Securus Technologies was installing a call monitoring system for the inmates, we didn’t even realize at the time how much of a help this was going to be in our efforts to eliminate contraband from the prison. Securus Technologies CEO Rick Smith says his Dallas-based company and all thousand employees are dedicated to making our world safer, and we were going to put that to the test in real-time. This exact system is already in over 2,500 jails around the country, so that tells us that the system has to be quite effective at what it is supposed to be doing.
Once the monitoring system was installed, my team was trained to use the LBS software and we took turns seeing if we could use the system in our fight to keep the contraband from the inmates. It didn’t take long for each of us to discover information we would have never had access to using the dated inmate call system. The tips we picked up from inmates talking in normal conversations was absolutely helpful in cleaning up the jail.
On my first turn, I overheard inmates talking about where they hide drugs and how they use them in their cells. Another officer picked up on calls where a gang member was ordering a street soldier to bring drugs to the visitor center in a particular manner. We even discovered that inmates were making weapons and hiding them in the yard to use on other inmates. The Securus Technologies system has allowed us to really tighten down security in prison and make this facility safer for all of us.