Communications in correctional facilities is a topic that seems to be drawing much attention lately. While there are many technologies available to help enhance the lives of the inmates, there are drawbacks when the communications aren’t monitored. More specifically, contraband cell phones have been a problem in correctional facilities for quite some time. Many might wonder why this would be a problem, as the inmates are afforded several ways to communicate via phone and even video chat. The problem that’s been presented is that when the calls aren’t monitored, inmates may have bad motives.
The problem has become so great that a baby has been murdered, and a former correctional officer was shot several times in retaliation. Robert Johnson is the correctional officer who was shot, and the act was plotted using a contraband cell phone. He now works as a consultant for Securus Technologies to end the problem by cutting off the cells before the communication can even happen.
The technology is known as a wireless containment system, or WCS for short. These systems intercept calls and text messages prior to them being sent. The technology has been proven to be effective and has intercepted nearly two million calls as of the publication of the news stories of Johnson. The nine-month-old baby, Kendarius Edwards Jr. could have lived had this technology been used in the facility. Johnson is an advocate for the installation of the WCS systems and continues to work towards his cause.
As previously mentioned, Securus Technologies provide inmates with the technology they need to stay connected with loved ones. They offer calling, video chat, email, voicemail and many other technologies at an affordable cost to the inmates. Securus Technologies has also acquired companies such as JPay to add even more to help inmates, such as tablets to use for educational endeavors. The company also provides monitoring services to keep everyone safe. The monitoring systems have intercepted many crimes, have been used as evidence to prosecute, and have assisted in investigations.
While many may deem the ending of cell phone calls and monitoring all calls as excessive, the procedure has worked out with incredible success. Inmates can access the tools to stay connected, however, they must understand that it’s in everyone’s best interest to curtail crime. The process has also identified unethical employees and has helped them to be disciplined for their wrongdoing. WCS systems provide safety for everyone. Hopefully, Johnson and Securus Technologies will be able to make this a required process for all facilities soon.