If you should ever happen to be unlucky enough to be incarcerated in one of the nation’s many prisons, you will quickly learn how valuable certain things that would otherwise seem mundane can be within the tightly controlled and scarce prison environment. Things such as Ramen noodles, postage stamps and potato chips can become commodities around which serious disputes and transactions are centered.
But one of the most valued commodities within the U.S. prison system, for the last 20 years, has been cell phones. Illegal cellular devices are smuggled into the nation’s carceral institutions by a variety of means, including through corrupt prison guards. The value of a simple $20 Tracfone, once it enters the general population, can be truly astounding. At some prisons, simple prepaid cell phones can fetch upwards of $500.
Although many prisoners seek out illegal cell phones simply so that they can talk to friends on the outside of prison whenever they choose, many of the phones are not used for nearly such benign ends. Prison gangs seek access to reliable communications with the outside world, which contraband cell phones have long provided. When these devices fall into the wrong hands, they are often used to carry out the most serious and horrific crimes, including the murder of both witnesses and placing hits on corrections staff.
Even when these phones are simply being used by inmates to keep in touch with friends, they seriously undermine the mission of the prison system of both punishing transgressions against the country’s laws and protecting the citizenry from the depredations of dangerous convicts. But when contraband cell phones fall into the possession of powerful shot callers, the results are often truly horrific.
Now, Securus Technologies, one of the nation’s leading providers of inmate communications services, has developed a system that is capable of stopping the illegal cell phone trade within the nation’s prisons dead in its tracks. Known as the Wireless Containment System, the apparatus is able to effectively block 100 percent of illegally placed cellular calls from within prison grounds. On top of this, it gives officers the capability to track down any unauthorized device that is currently turned on with pinpoint accuracy, leading to the rapid confiscation of all illegal cellular devices.
Where it has been deployed, the system has proven that it is able to virtually eliminate the scourge of contraband cell phones. Officers report that the system completely blocks all unauthorized communications and has reduced the number of cell phones confiscated in random searches to nearly zero, indicating that the confiscations brought about by use of the system itself have been nearly totally effective.
Securus continues to install more units of this powerful tool in the fight against illegal cell phones in the nation’s prisons.