I read the story about former South Carolina corrections officer Robert Johnson whose primary responsibility for 15 years included confiscating contraband like cell phones from inmates. Johnson was shot six times at home by an unknown gunman on March 5, 2010, two weeks after intercepting items smuggled by a prison gang worth $50, 000. Reports said Johnson died twice on the operating table because of six wounds in the chest and stomach but refused to give up. Police arrested an ex-convict, Sean Echols and later charged the man for the attempt on the officer’s life. Since then, I learned that Johnson had 23 more surgeries and lives through pain on a daily basis. However, the unfortunate experience did not deter the man from helping prevent crimes because of inmates getting and using cell phones illegally.
Johnson testified before a hearing conducted by the Federal Communications Commission and proposed how to control smuggled cell phones in various prisons. Corrections employees consider the matter a leading safety hazard. The FCC standardizes airwaves utilized by cellphone firms. Securus Technologies eventually hired Johnson as a consultant. The company created the wireless containment system (WCS) or cell phone detection system to prevent inmates from using cell phones. A spokesperson for Securus said the company practically installed a cell phone network. They can do anything with the numbers dialed through a phone attached to that system.
An antenna provides a steady signal to cell phones attracting incoming and outgoing calls to or from the prison. Prisoners believe getting connected to their networks since Securus broadcasts on the band of selected carriers. They only allow identified as well as 911 to connect while disallowing unauthorized numbers. Securus claims prison facilities that adopted their system have already blocked around 1.7 million calls made by convicts. Securus Technologies provides technology solutions for civil and criminal justice institutions in the fields of public safety, corrections, investigation, and monitoring.
The company cited a recent short video clip taken inside Evans Correctional Institution showing a prisoner, Jose Ariel Rivera serving a 10-year sentence for housebreaking, wielding a knife. The public profile for inmates indicated it was not the first time correction authorities caught Rivera using a cell phone. Securus said the WCS could easily detect illegal use of cell phones and help prevent many violations. In that case, the phone of Rivera could not have connected to a commercial network. Last March, the FCC restructured the system for prison facilities concerning accessing contraband exclusion technology like WCS. The agency reduced paperwork and compelled wireless carriers nationwide to collaborate with correctional institutions. Securus has already invested more than $40 million for technologies such as the WCS until the present time.