One of the most serious threats that faces the nation’s prisons today is that posed by contraband cell phones. When unauthorized cellular devices fall into the wrong hand in the nation’s prison, the results can be catastrophic.
This is largely due to the unique nature of America’s organized prison gangs. For reasons that go back to the beginning of the U.S. prison system, as well as those that are more recent developments, such as the racially diverse nature of the country’s prison population, the U.S. prison system has fostered the growth of some of the most well-organized, formidable prison gangs anywhere on the planet.
These organizations often operate on a military-like hierarchy, with clear leadership and a lower tier of soldiers, who are often as regimented and well-disciplined as any found in the nation’s armed forces. Because of the extremely organized and effective nature of these gangs, merely locking them up often does little to ensure that they are unable to continue carrying out their criminal enterprises. So long as these gangs have members on the outside willing and able to do their bidding, the only thing they need to continue operating with 100 percent effectiveness is that ability to communicate with their soldiers on the outside.
For this reason, contraband cellular devices have become the bane of the U.S. prison system. Using unauthorized cell phones, prison gang leaders, also known as shot-callers or generals, are able to communicate all orders with the outside in an almost instantaneous fashion. In fact, many of these gangs maintain networks of illicit communications channels within the prisons where they are housed, making it nearly impossible to shut down their ability to communicate with the outside world by traditional methods alone, as one or even five confiscated cell phones within their network has little effect due to the fact that they have ten other backups.
Securus is changing the game
But now, there is a promising new technology that may prove the magic bullet prison officials have been looking for to solve the problem of illegal communications devices within prisons. Known as the Wireless Containment System, Securus has developed a technology that has a nearly 100 percent rate of detecting and intercepting all unauthorized communications within a prison’s grounds. The system is able to spoof local cell phone towers, making all devices think that they are connecting to the tower when, in fact, they are detecting to the WCS.
The system is also capable of homing in on all cellular devices within its purview that are currently turned on. This has enabled officers to dramatically increase the detection rate of illegal cell phones, making it nearly impossible for gangs to maintain the ability to use unauthorized communications devices.