One of the most dangerous parts about working in a prison is dealing with the gang members. There are a huge number of these gang members who are serving lengthy prison sentences, so they are not afraid to get into trouble in jail because adding 15 years to a life sentence equates to absolutely nothing for these inmates. When you work around people who have a hatred for authority and really have nothing to lose, you have to have your head on a swivel or you will get seriously hurt on the job.
The only real way to get a hold of things like knives is when visitors slip contraband to the inmates via the visitor center. Our team uses metal detectors and body searches, but these inmates have developed some very crafty ways to get those items when they need them. Now add into this mix that those gang members on the street that are ordered to bring things to the jail, and you have another dangerous element to consider. These gang members see jail time as a reward for helping their brothers, so they jump at the chance to help.
To try and get ahead of this problem, we turned to Securus Technologies to install a call monitoring system that gave us the ability to listen more intently to calls the inmates are making. The system could do the work of a half-dozen of my officers, so we welcomed the new technology with open arms.
No sooner did my team learn the LBS software, we could hear gang members talking on the phones about hiding weapons in the prison yard, getting weapons past the guards in the visitor center, and how they make weapons from things in their cells. The longer they talk, the more we get control of the problem thanks to Securus Technologies.