Incarceration is a traditional area which is not found to be open to changes reflecting the needs of the hour. It has created numerous issues and challenges to the prison officials with some of them are even vulnerable to their life as well. For instance, communication technology saw revolutionary changes in the last two decades. This has even led to inmates collecting contraband phones inside the prison and contacting their criminal gangs outside which are posing threats to prison officials and endangering prison security. I can say the story of Robert Johnson which is a perfect example of how contraband phones are creating problems for prison officials.
He was an incarceration official with responsibilities of confiscating contraband in a South Carolina prison. In 2010, he captured a large pack of contraband which was to be delivered to the members of a criminal gang. The angry gang members contacted their friends outside through contraband phones, and within two weeks, Johnson experienced a deadly gun attack at his home. The investigation showed that how contraband phones are creating one of the biggest threats to prison security. Similar incidents have repeated many times before and after the Johnson incident. This is where he thought to work towards a comprehensive system that addresses the threats of contraband.
With that mission, he started collaborating with Securus Technologies as a paid consultant. The firm developed Wireless Containment Systems to restrict contraband phone calls efficiently. As far as I know, it implements a network over the installed prison and blocks all the unknown numbers whereas it allows calls to friends and family. Johnson even explained the challenges of prison environment to Federal Communications Commission, the telecommunication regulator of the country. Interestingly, Securus already came up with the data of WCS and confirmed that it could block as many as 1.7 million unauthorized calls in just eight prisons the technology implemented.
Since I have decades of experience in following up with prison technology, I can confirm that WCS is a milestone in the prison technology and safety. The technology has proven to be producing efficient results in the live prison environment. By understanding the critical nature of the issue, FCC approved a streamlined process to adopt the technology across the prisons in the country. Interestingly, it would reduce the paperwork and communication between the carriers significantly to make implementation quick and hassle-free.
The changed regulations are adding more demand for the technology from Securus. Even general citizens have started asking the elected officials to intensify the efforts to improve the prison security measures in the recent years. There is a general perception across officials as well as people that WCS is offering the most effective solution in the industry for contraband phones. Securus confirmed that it made a significant investment of $40 million to develop the solution.