When every new technology innovation is introduced, it is meant to advance the humans to next-level. In a large majority of cases, it happens in the same way. But, there are a few aberrations as well since a small percentage of criminals use the technology to make their activities more complex or protected from the enforcement agencies. I can quote contraband phones accessed by inmates as the perfect example to this. While telecommunication technology helped the world to connect each other better, the access of it by inmates is creating clear threats to everyone from prison officials to the public.
I should quote the story of Robert Johnson, a prison official of a South California prison. He was attacked at his home for seizing an illegal package that was sent to a prisoner in 2010. In less than two weeks, Johnson was attacked by a gang member. The investigations revealed that the prisoner was calling the gang member using a contraband phone to attack Johnson. The incident showed the threats of uncontrolled access of contraband phones by the inmates. After recovering from the deadly gun attack, Johnson took his fights against contraband phones as there were many similar stories of attacks.
I can confirm that even the relatives of correctional officers have been targeted by the prisoners in an attempt to silence the officers. While coming to Johnson, he spoke in all the stages, where he could share his experiences, against the uncontrolled contraband access of inmates. He accepted the role of an independent consultant at Securus Technologies, an innovator at the prison space, to help the firm’s mission to develop a technology system that can control the contraband phones from the prison walls. Interestingly, Securus designed an excellent technology solution to control phone calls from the prison called Wireless Containment System.
I have noted that the WCS is working similar to wireless networks and deploys its own network where it is installed. It acts as a smart filtering system for all calls originating and receiving at the particular area it is functional. The system blocks the suspected or unknown calls and permits the calls to family, friends, and to the known numbers. Interestingly, Johnson even reached out to the communication regulator of the country, Federal Communications Commission, and informed them the need of smart contraband band controlling system.
FCC began initiatives to simplify and streamline the process of adopting the technology for jails. I have noted that the performance of the WCS has impressed FCC, and that became a crucial factor in lightening the regulations. The smart technology of Securus produced highly efficient results wherever it implemented. It prevented nearly 2 million contraband call attempts in just eight prisons of the country for a period of one year.