In all my years working inside this prison, this year we have seem more violent outbursts between inmates and officers. Part of the trouble has to do with the easy accessibility of drugs, the other has to do with a crowded gang population that is not accustomed to taking orders. It is not even safe anymore for officers to walk the yard and patrol, so the inmates feel they can get away with more each week. We used to rely on our numbers, but today we are so outnumbered that we have had to rely on other resources to try and maintain order and get back control.
To lessen the violence, we can not do anything about the crowded conditions, so we have to attack the problem at the source. Drugs make inmates angrier and feeling invincible, and many inmates will tell you they can get those drugs in jail even easier than when they were on the streets. That needed to stop, so we increased our police presence in the visitor center, where inmates and guests could be up close with one another. This is where drugs could easily change hands if we didn’t ramp up our efforts.
When we discovered Securus Technologies and their call monitoring system, it was a match made in heaven. The company upgraded our jail phone system, and now the LBS software would do all the scanning of call instead of officers sitting and trying to decipher what was being said. The LBS software can work around the clock without a break, and alert my team the second a caller is talking about drugs, gangs, contraband, weapons, or fighting.
It wasn’t long after we upgraded the system we were able to confiscate more drugs than we had in years past. Each bust makes this facility a little safer for all of us now.