In the early morning of 5th March 2010, Captain Robert Johnson heard someone broke the front door of his home open. He knew that he had to protect his wife who was sleeping in the bedroom and so he yelled at them to get their attention. While he was fighting with the assassin, his wife was able to escape and ran to find help. But, it was too late. The attacker fired at Robert six times leaving him in critical condition. The hit was planned by some prisoners at the prison that he worked at for 15 years. The prison had seen an increase in the number of smuggled cell phones and Robert used to catch about 15 such cell phones every day.
Robert was part of the team that was responsible for finding these contraband cell phone and stopping its usage. He had more than 23 years of military intelligence training, but after the attack, the prison officials thought that there must be something else that could be done. Just taking away the cell phones from the prisoners did not bring down the crime since they always found another way to get more cell phones smuggled into the prison. It is not just Robert who was attacked. The criminals plan an attack on the prison officials and their families through these cell phones if they do not do what they are being told.
There are many prison officials, who have experienced the same thing, while some survived, many were not as lucky as Robert. To help control the problem that has infected the prison industry for decades, Securus Technologies has come up with a solution. The company recently introduced Wireless Containment system in various prisons that creates a local cellular network that all communication devices need to access before communicating with the outside world. All calls have first to be approved by the prison cellular system before they are given access to the commercial mobile networks to make calls.
Prisons have for long been using jamming technology, but it has been termed unlawful by humanitarian groups. But, Wireless Containment system is completely different from the jamming technology. Jamming blocks all the network signals and considers all signals to be the same as they cannot discriminate between known and unknown devices. The new system by Securus Technologies can identify the known devices and allow them to connect with the commercial networks. All other devices are, however, blocked. While it may not be the only way to control the complex issue of contraband phones in prisons, it is an excellent way to start. In prisons where the system has already been installed, they have seen a drop in criminal activities inside the prison that shows how effective they can be in other prisons.