Many people understand that prisons can be dangerous. However, most people think this danger revolves around fistfights, verbal abuse, or knives. This means most people are surprised to learn that cell phones are actually one of the most dangerous items in a prison. If you don’t believe this, examine the story of Robert Johnson.
Johnson worked at South Carolina’s Lee Correctional Institution back in 2010. He had been a corrections officer for 15 years, and his primary responsibility was to confiscate contraband items. His success at his job allowed him to intercept a package worth an estimated $50,000. This led to a hit being called on Johnson from a contraband cell phone. On the morning of March 5, 2010, an intruder broke into Johnson’s home and shot him.
Johnson survived, and the intruder, an ex-convict named Sean Echols, was arrested and convicted. During the conviction, it was confirmed the call to harm Johnson came from a contraband prison cell phone. Johnson has since made it his life’s mission to keep cell phones out of the hands of prisoners.
Thankfully, a company called Securus Technologies helps make this happen. A leader in correctional communication systems, Securus creates technology that blocks calls made from cell phones inside of prisons. This technology overrides the signals of the cell phone’s intended carrier, and it makes it impossible for a criminal to make phone calls to an associate.
The technology created by Securus is needed more than ever. Johnson’s story is horrific, but there are even more chilling examples. For example, a brutal stabbing of a prisoner was able to be streamed live over a contraband cell phone. Another chilling example involved a nine-month-old baby named Kendarius Edwards. Kendarius was shot and killed in his mother’s arms in Georgia after a criminal was ordered to do so through a call made on a contraband cell phone. It was later determined the uncle of the child had offended a convict inside of the prison. The convict made the contraband call to kill the child in retaliation.
Obviously, this madness needs to stop. This is why Securus has invested over $40 million dollars in the technology needed to block calls made from contraband cell phones. The company is also working diligently with wireless communication companies and lawmakers to streamline the process of getting Securus technologies into more prisons. Once these technologies are in place, any cell phone a prisoner is able to hide from a corrections officer will be effectively useless. This will prevent criminals from causing more crimes during their time in prison.
Take the time to share the above stories with friends and elected officials. Working together, the problem of cell phones in prisons can end.