When inmates have access to cell phones, it is a serious danger to the outside community. Hits can be ordered on individuals including correction officers such as Robert Johnson from South Florida. When Robert worked at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, he was responsible for confiscating contraband. This of course, doesn’t exactly make any inmate particularly happy. It resulted in one of them hiring a hit man who shot him in his home. Prior to, the jail received a package of contraband worth $50,000 sent to a prison gang. It was of course intercepted which resulted in a gang member kicking in the door of Johnson’s home and shooting him at point blank range. He was shot six times throughout the chest and stomach but miraculously survived.
Thankfully the shooter who was recently released from prison, was arrested and convicted of attempted murder. This has motivated Johnson to stop other inmates from the capability of doing this again. The suspect was contacted to make the hit by an inmate using a contraband cell phone. Robert Johnson testified before the Federal Communications Commission to discuss the importance of controlling cell phones in prisons. He has expressed that it is a top safety hazard in all prisons.
Federal law restricts being able to block airwaves used by cell phone companies. However, companies like Securus Technologies, are helping to create technologies to stop inmates’ cell phone calls. The technology uses a Wireless Containment System that can detect cell phone usage and shut it down. Securus Technologies sets up a network within the prison and can choose to do what they want with a phone number once it is dialed. If the phone number is a known number, it is allowed to connect. If it is being used to call an unauthorized number, the call is immediately disconnected. Prisons all over the country who use the Securus Technology platform have successfully blocked 1.7 million calls made by prison inmates. Securus Technologies was created in Dallas, Texas in 1986. Family and friends of an inmate can set up an online account through the Securus website.