Unless you have been inside a prison recently, you can not imagine how dangerous conditions can be. Not only are the cells overcrowded, you have inmates from rival gangs who will stop at nothing to make sure they get the respect they think they deserve, while also marking and maintaining the territory within the jail. This goes on 24-hours a day, and my team of corrections officers are only in the jail up to 12-hours each day. The inmates have many advantages that have us on the defensive each minute we work.
One of the ways that we try to keep things orderly is keeping drugs and weapons out of the hands of those inmates. To accomplish this, we have to focus our efforts first in the visitor center, where contraband can easily be passed from one guest to an inmate. Our physical presence plus the scanning equipment available does put a dent in their efforts, but doesn’t eliminate the threat. Cell searches are daily, but these inmates have become quite crafty in keeping things out of sight.
We commissioned Securus Technologies last year to upgrade our inmate call monitoring system, and it has already helped us to maintain more order in our facility. The LBS software scans the calls the inmates are making, allowing my team to continue our efforts elsewhere while the software listens and alerts us if chatter concerning illegal activities surfaces.
When inmates are asking visitors to sneak in drugs, we take action, When inmates are bragging on the phone about doing drugs in their cells, we strike fast.
When inmates are trying to talk in code about a hit on another inmate or an officer, we are able to get ahead of the problem and eliminate the threat without putting anyone in harm’s way now.