It might come as a huge surprise to some folks that crime inside the jail is far worse than when these suspects were out on the street. As a corrections officer, on a daily basis I see inmates beaten, stabbed, and severely injured to the point they need to be hospitalized for months. When the inmates aren’t hurting each other, they turn that aggression to the guards, so we have to be on our toes every second of every day.
These inmates have an edge over us in a number of ways. The inmates outnumber the officers 4:1 in most cases, they have the element of surprise on their side, and they have access to weapons they can use to cause severe bodily harm. In order to limit the trouble, we have to eliminate the weapons threat, but that is easier said than done. We try to check each visitor that comes to see the inmates, but these inmates are very crafty at getting what they need.
Once the inmates have the weapons, they have to conceal them until they are to be used. So we are constantly performing surprise cell inspections to uncover these weapons. Even when we show up unannounced, the inmates are one step ahead, hiding things in the yard or in locations of the jail we don’t check. Recently, Securus Technologies installed an inmate call system that has given us a tool we can use to combat these violent episodes.
I was trained on the Securus Technologies phone system and LBS software, and within days I was able to pick up chatter between inmates and their families discussing getting weapons through the visitors center. Their coded messages were no match for the software, and we now are spotting those weapons long before they ever can get into the hands of the inmates.