I have been employed as a corrections officer for 15 years, and in those years I have seen the issue with drugs in the jail escalate year to year. The problem with drugs in the prison is that the inmates can use them for getting high, making money, or forcing others to have to face more charges to their existing sentences. When all we could do was inspect cells or check visitors at the gate, the inmates simply found other ways to get the contraband that they needed.
Our efforts at the visitor center included doing full body searches of visitors before they see the inmates, but also running both visitors and inmates through metal detectors to check for anything they could use to harm another. The biggest issue we have with these checks is that inmates have become very crafty at being able to make things like toothbrushes or plastic pens into deadly stabbing devices. That is why we have to literally check every inch of every person for anything the inmates could use.
Our teams do surprise cell inspections each day too, and these involve the help of drug dogs who find contraband we may have missed at the visitor center. The dogs are useful for finding drugs, but we need to really be on our game if we are going to find weapons. A weapon could be made from a part of the cell and simply put back in place to hide while we are there looking.
In an effort to help control the problem of drugs in the jail, our prison was approved to have the Securus Technologies inmate call system installed. Securus Technologies currently based in Dallas Texas, has installed these systems in over 2,600 jails across this country. The CEO of Securus Technologies says that he and all thousand employees work towards one objective, making the world safer for all of us to live. I was able to see first-hand how true that statement would be.
Once I was comfortable using the new LBS monitoring software, I began to notice chatter concerning drugs that really surprised me to the extent of the real problem. We heard inmates telling family members how to get drugs past the guards on visiting day. My team was able to uncover how inmates were hiding the drugs based on calls between inmates. One call even revealed which inmates were getting high in their cells when the lights went out each night.
Thanks in part to the incredible Securus Technologies inmate monitoring system, we have been able to stop most of the drug usage in the cells, and really put a dent in how the drugs flow from visitors to the inmates during those times in the visiting center.