How One Man’s Near-Death Experience Lead to Improved Inmate Communication and Correctional Facility Safety

Seven years ago, corrections officer Robert Johnson was victim of an at-home in which he was shot multiple times in his stomach and chest and was rushed to the hospital to treat his wounds. He died twice on the table but miraculously survived the ruthless attack.


Johnson himself, remembers little from the incident other than hearing his front door kicked in and seeing the barrel of a gun. Looking back on the attack, he recalls how just a few days prior he and his team had intercepted a package at Lee Correctional Institution where he worked that was full of contraband estimated at $50,000.


Since surviving the attack, Johnson’s desire to keep contraband out of correctional facilities has grown and before long he was meeting with the Federal Communications Commission to speak on how to better control cell phone usage in prisons as they are inmates primary means of communication when seeking contraband shipments and seen as one of the top safety concerns for correctional officers and facility employees.


The FCC is responsible for regulating the airwaves that cell phone signals travel on and while they do have the ability to block or jam signals before they reach their intended destination, not all states are utilizing the technology needed to do so.


Today, Johnson is retired from the correctional facility but found employment working as a paid consultant for Securus Technologies in order to continue to fight against inmate communication and contraband.


With the companies Wireless Containment System (WCS), Securus Technologies aims to further secure communication streams between inmate and outside parties in a way that is highly controlled and monitored to increase user and employee safety. With this new system in place, inmates are able to use cell phones for necessary phone calls or text messaging which is beneficial when it comes to both booking and bailing out the inmate efficiently as well as give the inmates and staff access to things like books, video and audio libraries, forms, healthcare schedules and job assistance in a secure and concise way. With regards to contraband, using this system enables staff to monitor and record inmates conversations thereby increasing the likelihood that they catch and intercept a contraband exchange before the package ever comes to the facility.


In an effort to keep up with ever changing technology, Securus Technologies is already looking towards future implementations that could work with the WCS system such as reduced pricing plans for inmates, greater ease of use, video calling options, use of tablets and smart devices, improved educational opportunities and 24/7 communication availability. It is in as many ways improving the iname experience and enabling them the best chances at successful rehabilitation as it does provide safety and security for others in the facility.



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