It’s not been an easy journey for Robert Johnson, an ex-corrections officer who has been working tirelessly to ensure cell phones are no longer accessible by inmates. Johnson’s zeal to accomplish his mission is very evident his motivation being the dreadful encounter he had seven years ago. This dedicated man would narrate his story over and over again to anyone who is willing to listen.
By then, Johnson was working at Lee Correctional Institution located in South Carolina. His main role was to assume contraband, a job he had done for 15 years. I must say that Johnson’s outstanding work was not appreciated by everyone but rather attracted some enemies who planned an attack.
It was on the morning of 5th March 2010, just before Johnson left for work when he heard a kick in his apartment’s front door. The intruders attacked Johnson, and after struggling with them shortly, they shot him six times in the chest and stomach, from a very close proximity. Johnson state was very bad that it was hard for doctors to believe he would survive the surgeries.
Johnson’s attack was conducted by Sean Echols, an ex-convict who was recently set free. Echols was contacted by inmates through a contraband cell phone, to execute Johnson’s murder.
Sadly, Johnson is not the only victim of the dangerous attacks conducted by inmates through contraband phones, but just one among the many including the nine years old infant who was shot in the hands of the mother, through an inmate order.
Johnson who is currently working at Securus Technology, testified to the FCC in March 2017, during a hearing on ways to curb the issue of contraband cell phones in the possession of inmates. This issue is currently a great safety hazard to us, as the public and also to corrections officers.
Securus Technology, a leading company in providing public safety, is doing some commendable work towards regulating this issue using Wireless Containment Systems (WCS), a system that detects inmates cell phones and deters connection with the commercial wireless network. This voted technology is not only effective in reducing paperwork but also in preventing several crimes planned by inmates, from taking place.
A recent video circulating on Facebook was showing Jose Ariel, an inmate, brandishing a knife. Such incidences, which have become common on the internet, can be detected and stopped by Securus’ WCS.
Johnson says that the system works effectively and efficiently and it would play a great role in eradicating these dangerous weapons (cell phones) in prisons.
Securus recently released the one year’s data collected by WCS, in the eight correctional facilities it has been installed. It was able to detect and deter 1.7 million illicit communications, which is a demonstration of the danger of contraband cell phones as well as the effectiveness of the technology.
It is no doubt that Securus WCS is worth embracing, and I would like to call unto the public and all the correctional facilities to welcome such technologies so as to ensure our security is enhanced.