I work in a very dangerous jail, and each day we have to be on high alert or we run the risk of being injured at the hands of the inmates. When the inmates outnumber the staff 5:1 at any time during the day or night, it can be especially problematic to get information on illegal activities in their cells. Soon as we make a move on a cell, the inmates are alerted by one another to hide the evidence.
To try and combat the problems in our jail, we try to stop the flow of this contraband at the choke-point. When we position officers at the visitors center, it is to find, remove, and stop the entrance of drugs, weapons, or cellphones from getting into the hands of the inmates. These items put all of us at risk of violence, and it is a daily struggle to stay ahead of the flow of contraband.
Most inmates will tell you that they can get these illegal items more easily in jail than if they were out on the streets. This is a huge problem we try to combat with any resources available. When Securus Technologies informed us that they could help with the problem by installing a new inmate communication system, our entire team was excited.
The idea here was that the Securus Technologies system would act like the ears of the institution around the clock, alerting officers to chatter that involved illegal activities. Soon after I was trained on the LBS software, I began to hear chatter about inmates smoking in their cells, taking drugs, and using cellphones.
Each time the system identified chatter about any of these activities, we immediately sent a team to the cell for a surprise inspection to gather the contraband before the inmates knew what happened.