The prison that I work as a corrections officer has some of the highest concentration of gang members in this country. The population has grown so large that we have to separate the inmates by gang affiliation or there would be full-scale wars each day inside these walls. While many people on the outside say let them kill each other, we have many innocent people behind these walls that would be in the line of fire. In addition to me and my officers, we have visitors, prison staff, and other inmates who have no gang affiliation.
To keep the peace, we have to limit the amount of contraband the inmates have access to. If they can get things like cigarettes, drugs, and weapons, they have power over other inmates. Many things like candy and cigarettes are used to buy protection or buy favors from gang members. We have to work tirelessly each day to ensure zero illegal items are getting from the streets to the inmates, but it sometimes feels like a losing proposition.
When Securus Technologies added their monitoring system in our facility so me and my fellow officers could listen closely to inmate calls, we began to see a shift in the power of control. These monitoring systems have been key for thousands of prisons around the country taking back control of their facilities. The LBS software works to monitor the inmate calls around the clock, alerting my team if any verbiage is picked up on numerous subjects.
Already this month, we discovered some gang members were forcing soldiers to come to the jail with drugs to pass to inmates. We heard an inmate talking about hiding weapons to use on a hit against rival gang members. One call even alerted us to how inmates hide contraband inside the cells without us knowing.