My job as a corrections officer in the local prison requires that I wear a number of different hats. The one hat I wear all the time is when I am hunting for illegal contraband. Whether in the cells, in the visitor center, or hidden in the prison, the quest to keep the prison clean of drugs, weapons, and even cellphones is never-ending. Here is how my day has changed since Securus Technologies installed our new inmate phone system throughout the entire prison.
In the past, my day would start by searching each visitor that comes into the jail for any illegal contraband. Even something as innocent as a cellphone might not seem like it should be problematic, but if we can not monitor the inmates calls, they could be planning something with people on the outside that puts us all in danger. Whether planning an escape, an attack on an officer, or receiving drugs, we can not allow cellphones in the hands of the inmates.
When I do surprise cell inspections, I am usually looking for drugs or weapons. In all my years working in this prison, I have see weapons made from spoons, disposable razors, pens, and even toothbrushes. These daily inspections allow us to find items that are still being crafted into weapons before they can be used to hurt anyone.
When Securus Technologies installed the new inmate call system in the jail, we suddenly had a new resource for keeping illegal contraband out of the jail. Listening to the calls and using the LBS software, now we pick up on conversations like never before. This month alone I’ve heard one inmate talking about having a family member smuggle drugs through the gate, hiding weapons in the ceiling light fixtures, and smoking crack in the cells at night.