More than hundreds of thousands of illegal communications through cell phones are being made by American inmates each year. The thought of an inmate using an illegal cell phone at first glance seems like it couldn’t pose much of a problem to law enforcement officials or the general public. But, there are stories out there that will open your mind as to how this issue is a real threat to our prisons, public and more. I recently read a story about a former corrections officer from the Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina named Robert Johnson. He is currently on a mission to remove all cell phones from the hands of our inmates.
Johnson shared that his main duties as a corrections officer was to confiscate any contraband found at the premises. One day at work he recalled intercepting a large package stuffed with contraband items. The package contained about $50,000 worth of illegal items. Thinking nothing of it, Johnson just kept doing his job. After two weeks had passed, he woke up for work around 5:30 a.m. and heard a loud boom. A stranger had broke in through the front door of his home and was out for blood. Johnson’s wife was still sleeping and he instinctively knew to try to lure the assailant away from his bedroom to protect her. As Johnson moved to the hallway, he called out to the man and they ended up in a struggle. The man pushed him backwards and as Johnson was on the ground, he could only remember seeing the barrel of a gun. He was shot six times and was told he died twice on the operating table.
Robert Johnson‘s assailant was an ex-con that was hired to kill him by an inmate that used an illegal cell phone to contact him. The hitman was also paid $6,000 that was loaded into a Greendot card. There was an entirely different situation that involved an inmate using a contraband cell phone and it happened at the Evans Correctional Institution in South Carolina. A 31-year-old inmate named Jose was serving a ten year sentence at Evans Correctional and was caught on multiple occasions making illegal communications. His latest showed him wielding a knife in a video via Facebook Live that went viral. If that correctional facility had purchased and installed the new Wireless Containment Solution created by Securus Technologies, there wouldn’t be any incidents like this at all. The Wireless Containment Solution was made to prevent as well as detect absolutely every kind of illegal communication attempts being made by inmates. In just one year, more than 1.7 million illegal communications were prevented in eight participating correctional facilities in the U.S.