Robert Johnson, a former corrections officer from Delray Beach, FL, is one of the few people who gave good visions for the corrections industry. Johnson has been on a steadfast mission to prevent inmates from having cell phones. He used to work for South Carolina-based Lee Correctional Institution. Throughout his 15 years corrections career, he confiscated contraband. While still working in the corrections industry, Johnson got shot at his home. According to him, the shooter was affiliated with a dangerous prison gang. Johnson and his team had confiscated contraband from the gang that was worth $50,000. The shooting happened at 5:30 AM on March 5, 2010, as he was getting ready for work. The gunman shot Robert Johnson six times while standing six feet away from him. At that time, his wife was still asleep. She was devastated by the occurrence and thought that her husband was going to die.
Johnson survived the multiple gun wounds. An ex-convict by the name Sean Echols was later detained and charged with attempted murder. Over the last seven years, Johnson has undergone 23 surgical procedures. Though he is in pain, he tries to prevent crimes that are facilitated by inmates’ cell phones. Earlier this year, Johnson gave testimony to Federal Communications Commission amidst a hearing on the fight against contraband cell phones in correctional facilities. Contraband cell phones are considered as a safety hazard by correctional officers. Johnson is currently involved with Securus Technologies as a paid consultant. Securus Technologies on the other hand recently deployed the Wireless Containment System in Florida. This tool detects and blocks inmates’ calls made through mobile phones.
Securus’ Wireless Containment System (WCS)
Since 2016 when it was deployed nationwide, Securus’ WCS has been detecting and preventing over 1.7 million mobile phone communications in prisons. The firm has also been inviting interested parties to take a tour of its Dallas based Technology Center and learn more about WCS. Securus Technologies is trying to render contraband phones ineffective since they pose great threats to the community. On July 13, 2017, the company released data collected from the WCS. The data suggested that 1,693,530 illegal calls were tracked and stopped by WCS installed in 8 correctional facilities.
A high-ranking executive from Securus, Rick Smith, said that Securus’ competitors have failed to downplay the WCS. Smith also mentioned that the competitors’ efforts would only result in making the society vulnerable to crimes conducted via prisoners’ mobile phones. As of 2017, Securus has investments in contraband solutions worth over $40 million. The company also implemented three different systems proved to be effective. Securus continues to use its WCS to give actionable intelligence on the usage of cell phones in prisons. Rick Smith believes that none of Securus’ competitors can match these achievements. He was quoted saying that the firm’s competitors admit that their own attempts are ineffective.