Adopting Wireless Containment System to Eliminate Contraband Devices in Prison

As a correctional officer, Robert Johnson made it his mission to confiscate contraband. He became so good at his work that inmates found it hard to keep cell phones. As a result, there was an attempt on his life. According to Mr. Johnson, when an inmate has access to cell-phones, it poses a danger to both other inmates and the community. The attempt on his life came one early morning as he was about to proceed to work. Two weeks before the incident, Johnson intercepted a package belonging to a prison gang. The contraband was valued at $50,000. The morning of the attack, Johnson heard his door get kicked in, and as a way of protecting his wife, he called the assailant to the hallway. He was shot six times in the stomach and chest.


According to the doctors, the bullet wounds were fatal, and his survival was more of a miracle. The attacker was an ex-convict. He was contacted through a contraband cell phone and paid $6,000 on a re-loadable Green dot card. After the incident, Johnson has undergone 23 surgeries. However, preventing crime through the use of contraband phones remains as part of the dedication. In a similar event, a child died as a result of a hit ordered by inmates. Today, Johnson works as a consultant with Securus Technologies. As there is a federal law that inhibits the facilities from completely blocking the signals in prisons, they have now adopted a Wireless Containment System as a way of dropping calls from inmate’s cell phones.


Wireless Containment Systems operate by establishing a local cellular network. Therefore, for inmates to make or receive a call, it must go through the local network and get approval. As a result, guards can detect and prevent unauthorized calls from getting in/out of the facility. Additionally, the technology stores data from identified illegal cell phones in the network. The system doesn’t interfere with the inmate’s ability to communicate. There are prison call points (landlines). They serve to connect inmates with the outside world. The landlines have a list of approved contacts. The Wireless Containment System works with a similar technology with WI-FI. Therefore, just like we adopt measures to inhibit people from using the network, so does the WCS. It acts only to block un-authorized caller IDs.


The system is better understood by the use of an analogy. Inmates are confined within the walls of a prison and can only leave with the permission of a judge or warden. The WCS works similarly. The LTE is the society while the prisoners are on the local network (prison). Therefore, for communication to take place with the LTE network, devices must be registered with the local network. As a result, contraband devices are flagged and declined from making contact with the public LTE network. Today, Captain Johnson is a great advocate of the Wireless Containment Systems.


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