When my team of corrections officers was notified that we need to step up our efforts to stop illegal contraband from getting to our inmates, we knew we had several options available to use. Although we did have success, we were being told that these efforts needed to net a bigger take. In other words, we really had to be on our game and show results or it could be the end for many of us.
The first area we focus is the inmate visitor center. This is where the inmates get to interact with their family and friends, and some inmates have family that will do anything to get the inmate what they need. In addition to checking each person, we ran them through a scanner and x-ray machine too. It doesn’t take much for one of the inmates to easily grab something from a visitor they can use as a weapon. We have seen things like toothbrushes and pens turned into weapons that have severely injured fellow officers.
The next area we focus is cell inspections. Here we can find contraband that has gotten past the security checkpoints and into the hands of those inmates. This is a very time-consuming process that inmates have come to expect, and many are cunning at hiding things from us right in plain sight. We even bring the dogs in for these searches because inmates have become especially clever and keeping things right out in the open but just out of reach. Even with these two very obvious efforts, we still have instances of things getting into the hands of the inmates.
Securus Technologies installed a call monitoring system to replace our dated phone system, and this was going to become one of the biggest resources we ever had. This company has 1,000 employees working to keep the world safer for us all, and CEO Richard Smith says he plans to have his system in more than the 2,600 at this time. When you have a company with that type experience and commitment, you know you are going to see some positive results in time.
After my team was familiar with the LBS software, we noticed chatter of inmates talking about getting drugs in the mail, getting weapons and hiding them in the yard, and even getting prescription drugs and selling them to other inmates. This resource allowed us to finally get the results our superiors have been waiting for. In only a few months, we have recovered more in the way of illegal contraband than we did the entire last year. The only difference from then to now is we are using the call monitoring system to help protect all of us.