Florida Corrections Officer and Securus Technologies Take Steps to Eliminate Illegal Cellphones in Prisons

The Florida Department of Corrections was the workplace of Robert Johnson. He was a correctional officer for an extended period of time.


One day, while on duty at a Florida correctional facility, Johnson came upon a box intended to be smuggled into the institution. The box contained an estimated $50,000 in contraband. Johnson’s professional actions kept the contraband out of the facility and away from the reach of inmates.


What Johnson did know at the time he prevented this major violation of prison rules was that the inmate who orchestrated the scheme to get the contraband into the institution already had a cellphone in his possession. The cellphone would become a dangerous instrument in the hands of this inmate.


Illegal cellphones in correctional institutions is a serious problem in this day and age. Correctional facilities across the United States face inmates getting illegal cellphones into these institutions.


Securus Technologies is a Dallas-based company that specializes in developing and implementing solutions designed to enhance prison security and pubic safety. One of the solutions more recently developed by Securus Technologies is its Wireless Containment Systems, or WCS. With the Securus Technologies WCS, a correctional facility is able to prevent the introduction of illegal cellphones into an institution in the first instance. In addition, Securus Technologies WCS is capable of identifying and eliminating mobile devices from inside a correctional institution if it happens to get into a facility.


Securus Technologies monitored the use of its technological solutions at eight correctional facilities in the United States. Over the course of a one-year period of time, Securus Technologies prevented a stunning 1.7 illegal inmate communications. This number must be kept in perspective. These 1.7 attempts at illegal inmate communications that were prevented by Securus Technologies occurred at only eight faiclities. There are thousands of correctional facilities on the federal, state, and local level in the United States.


Returning to the matter of Robert Johnson, the inmate whose smuggling operation was thwarted used his illicit cellphone to call a gang member associate outside the prison walls. He ordered the gang member to kill correctional officer Johnson.


The inmate’s associate followed the incarcerated offender’s orders. He went to Johnson’s home, broke in during the early morning hours, and shot the correctional officer multiples times. Johnson was left for dead. In fact, doctors thought he would die.


Johnson did survive. He has committed his life to making the public and correctional officials well aware of the true dangers presented by illicit mobile phones inside U.S. jails and prisons. His presentations are compelling testaments to the need to take significant action, like implementing the Securus Technologies WCS, to prevent the introduction of illegal cellphones into correctional facilities in the United States.


Securus Technologies Making Prison Life Easier for Officers

As an officer in our local jail, I can tell stories of first-hand accounts where violence has gotten completely out of hand in recent years. The combination of easy accessibility to drugs, overcrowded conditions, and reduced prison staff is a mix that gives these inmates the ability to run the facility in many cases.


These inmates can not be locked in their cells around the clock, so the minute they are out, they are looking for trouble. These inmates have all the time to look for a weakness in the system so they can quickly exploit it when out of their cells.


To try and control the situation so that me and my fellow officers are not at risk of injury, technology is used that can give my team an advantage. Case in point, we now use a modern scanning device like you would see at airports, capable of detecting anything unusual on a person trying to get in our visitor center. If contraband is found, the person is detained, the items are removed, and the inmates don’t get the chance to make use of whatever it is that we recover.


Securus Technologies designed another piece of technology we now use to listen to the inmates as they are using the phones in the jail. The days of my team having to sit in a room and monitor what the inmates say when using the phones is over, the LBS software does that work now. Securus Technologies is a company based out of Texas, and Rick Smith, the company CEO, says his inmate call monitoring system is now up and running in 2,600 of the most dangerous jails around the country.


Now if the inmates say anything related to contraband, we are alerted to the trouble and take the necessary action ahead of the problem.