An incident that seemed like a scene from a movie, a former Lee County Corrections Officer found his motivation to rid prison inmates of cell phones. Robert Johnson had been a corrections officer for 15 years. He was good at his job, which was primarily focused on intercepting contraband from reaching inmates. This put a target on his back from the inmates. About two weeks after intercepting contraband that was worth over $50,000, Robert Johnson’s life changed forever. On the morning of May 5th, 2010 as he was getting ready for work like any other day, a man broke into his home. Johnson instantly knew that it was work related–retaliation for intercepting contraband. He bravely coerced the man to into his hallway, away from his wife. The man shot him multiple times, leaving him to die on his bathroom floor. By some miracle, Johnson survived the life-altering ordeal and he has dedicated himself to stopping this from happening to others.
The hit on Robert Johnson had been organized through an illegal cell phone that a prisoner had obtained while locked up, as well as $6,000 that was funded onto a reloadable Greendot prepaid card. The hit man, an ex-felon named Sean Echols, was arrested and charged, but the damage was already done. Cell phones enable dangerous prisoners to have contact with the outside world, which can put innocent people in danger. Since the incident, Robert Johnson has left his job as a corrections officer and started working for a company called Securus Technologies. This company is dedicated to putting an end to illegal cell phone communication in prisons.
Securus Technologies is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and was founded in 1986. This company developed a Wireless Containment System that does just what it says–contains wireless communications. While it may be impossible to intercept every cell phone that makes it into a prison, their system will stop wireless communications from reaching the outside world, making cell phone contraband pointless for inmates. The system works by creating a cell phone network inside the prison that is completely controlled by Securus. When inmates try to call or text out, the network picks up the communication and Securus can decide what to do with the communication (which is to not connect the call or text). This system can also be used for monitoring these communications also, which will alert the facility to attempted illegal activity. Emergency calls to 911 are allowed, but the system will only allow authorized numbers to connect to the system, such as prison administration. The system has already been implemented in Florida and has blocked almost 2 million inmate calls. Implementing this system all over the United States will make citizens safer than ever.