Over the last few decades, the prison gangs operating throughout the nation’s criminal justice system have grown from a relatively isolated problem into a nationwide feature of the country’s prisons. Gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood, the Mexican Mafia and the Black Guerrilla Family are highly organized, well-financed through criminal enterprises and wield an enormous amount of power within the nation’s prison system. One of the main sources of their power has been the ability to effectively communicate with membership on the outside, allowing gang leaders to act with the same level of effectiveness and leadership as if they were walking free on the streets.
Effective communication is the linchpin of effective organization
Many of the nation’s prison gangs are truly formidable organizations. With rigid, hierarchic command structures and a level of regimentation among the lower ranks that rivals anything seen in the elite units of the U.S. military, the nation’s prison gangs operate as part paramilitary-like organizations, part mafia. Most of the activities of these gangs are aimed at earning money. But sometimes, other concerns come to the forefront.
One of the most serious problems that has been associated with the rise of the modern U.S. prison gang has been the gang’s ability to undermine the criminal justice system. Through the intimidation of witnesses and even the ordering of hits on snitches and corrections officers, these gangs wield enough power on the outside of prison to make anyone who would think of crossing them to reconsider.
The gangs are also able to quickly get vast amounts of detailed information on everything from the criminal records of prospective members to the addresses of corrections officers in the prisons where they are housed. And all of this communication has been greatly facilitated by the use of illegal cell phones.
But without the easy access to illegal cellular devices that the gangs currently enjoy, it would be far more difficult for them to continue carrying out their nefarious activities. It is for this reason that Securus Technologies, one of the nation’s leading inmate communications service providers, has developed a system that it calls the Wireless Containment System. The WCS is able to intercept and block 100 percent of all unauthorized cellular calls emanating from within any prison where it is installed. It is also able to facilitate the location of any cellular device within its operation range that happens to be turned on. This gives officers the capability to locate and confiscate any unauthorized cellular device operating within the prison.
The WCS has proven itself to be nearly totally effective. In the few prisons where it has been installed, the system has forced the number of illegal cell phones down to nearly zero.
Securus Technologies provides a broad base of communications systems for correctional institutions, safety organizations and law enforcement agencies across the North American Continent. They provide service to over 1.2 million inmates and their families as well as to 3,400 different entities.
By allowing inmates to connect with their friends and families, the people who are incarcerated don’t lose touch with bedrock family relationships which can play an important life-changing role in their rehabilitation.
There are several different plans available such as direct billing, collect calls, inmate payment and payment in advance. The family usually ends up footing most of the bill, but most families are more than happy to do that so that they can continue to stay in touch with their loved ones who are incarcerated.
The one feature that is very popular is the video conferencing program which allows inmates and families to set up a live teleconference which is just like the family is right there in the prison facility. This saves the family the time of travel and waiting until a physical conference can be arranged when they arrive at the facility.
Another function that Securus provides, which I find particularly amazing, is the voice recognition and tracking feature that is built into the phone system. This is a great help in crime prevention where an inmate on the inside of the prison conspires with those on the outside to bring in alcohol, drugs, or to plan other criminal activities from within the prison.
The voice recognition system has been used as evidence which has held up in court and it is recognized as a legitimate way to identify who is speaking and whether or not the criminal intent is present in the conversation. Just knowing that the phone system has that capability has prevented many instances of criminal activity, according to prison officials.
Securus Technologies has been in business since 1991 and is a leading communications provider for correctional institutions, safety organizations, and law enforcement facilities. They currently serve over 2,200 corrections facilities and over 1,200,000 inmates and their families.
Securus has several plans available with multiple payment choices such as phone services with direct pay, collect call capability, debit accounts, and prepaid calls. Jail voicemail and the popular video communications are big hits. Email and money transfer are available as well.
In recent months, GTL, a competitor has made the outlandish and untrue statement about their competitiveness with Securus stating that their prices and servicing capabilities are superior to those of Securus. Securus has proven publically that this is just not true.
Consequently, Securus has offered a challenge to GTL to lay out the pricing and services of each company publicly and to have the results judged by an independent party. There was silence from GTL for a while, and they then politely declined to participate in the challenge.
Securus has come to be known as the company with whom to work when it comes to the quality and the service that is expected from the public. People need to know what to expect, and when quality and service are the ultimate goals of a company, it tends to happen in a positive manner. Former customers of GTL had stated that they are certainly happier with Securus than before when they were using GTL.
The members of the Securus award-winning call center say that inmates and families are commenting all the time about how pleased they are with the service that is provided in liking each other together very quickly and easily. That is the hallmark of quality, and Securus takes that very seriously.