Over the last 20 years, one of the most serious threats to present itself to the U.S. prison system has been the proliferation of illegal cell phones within the nation’s correctional institutions. As a result of the increasingly small size of cellular technology, highly effective communications devices have been increasingly easy to smuggle into the nation’s prisons. Once inside, these devices are used by criminal gangs to carry out well-organized criminal activities. In some cases, such easy means of communication with the outside world have even led to the assassination of guards and intimidation and murder of witnesses.
But today, Securus Technologies, one of the nation’s leading inmate communications providers, is taking the fight against contraband cellular devices to the next level. After spending tens of millions of dollars on devices capable of detecting and intercepting all illegal cellular devices and phone calls within prison grounds, Securus is now deploying what’s known as its Wireless Containment System across thousands of the nation’s penal facilities.
At institutions where the system has been successfully rolled out, it has demonstrated a track record of nearly perfect confiscation of all contraband cellular devices. This is a major step forward in the fight against organized gang activity within the nation’s prisons, as the means of cheap and easy communication is one of the linchpins in the gangs’ ability to carry out their criminal activities.
The system is also able to actively monitor and intercept any phone calls placed within the prison facility over cellular devices. It is capable of tricking any cellular device into believing that the system itself is the local cell tower, thus enabling the operator to listen in on whatever call is taking place or, if they choose, to send a message to the person using the cellular device that their call was not able to be completed.