Securus Technologies, one of the nation’s leading providers of inmate communications services, has begun widespread deployment of its highly innovative Wireless Containment System. The apparatus, a civilian adaptation of the Stringray system developed on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, is reported to be 100-percent effective in interdicting and shutting down all unauthorized cellular communications taking place within prisons where it is deployed. At the few facilities where the system has been thoroughly tested, the results have been stunning. The Wireless Containment System has not only been able to completely deny inmates the ability to place unauthorized outgoing phone calls, it has also enabled officers to pinpoint the location of any unauthorized devices within the facility, leading to a physical confiscation rate of the devices of nearly 100 percent.
Contraband cell phones are a serious threat
Many people who are unfamiliar with the dynamics of the U.S. prison system may not appreciate just how much of a threat unauthorized cellular devices pose to the safe functioning of the nation’s carceral institution. Illicit cell phones have the potential to undermine the institution, the criminal justice system and the public safety as a whole on just about every level.
The cell phones, themselves, may be worth hundreds of dollars once they have been successfully smuggled into the institution. A simple Tracfone that costs just $10 may have a value inside of one of the nation’s prisons in excess of $300. This means that contraband cell phones may provide criminal gangs inside of prison with significant sources of revenues. Another problem that directly stems from the presence of the phones is the ability of inmates to charge rent to use the phones, while simultaneously undermining the revenues generated for the prison from the legitimate phone system as well as bypassing all of the sophisticated security features that are installed in prison phone systems.
But the real problem from illegal cell phones in the nation’s prisons stems from the ability of gang leadership to use them as effective means of communicating with gang members on the outside of prison. Because many prison gangs may have up to half of their membership on the outside of prison at any given time, easy access to effective means of communication can essentially render the incarceration of these gangs and their leadership without effect. This means that some of the most dangerous prisoners in the United States can operate almost as if they were simply able to walk free, creating a huge problem for both institutional and public safety.
Now, Securus Technologies is deploying its Wireless Containment System. With the ability to stop 100 percent of all illegal phone calls, the system is rapidly shutting down the ability of criminal gangs to communicate with the outside world.