I am currently employed by the state as a corrections officer in the local prison, and my most challenging part of the job is keeping drugs from getting into the hands of the inmates. When the inmates can get drugs, they are more of a threat to inmates, visitors, and corrections officers. We do have a few ways that we try to stay on top of the problem each day.
When visitors come to the jail, they are informed they can not give anything to the inmates or they risk having to do jail time themselves. Despite the warnings, there are some people on the outside who will do just about anything to make sure that the inmates are happy. To try and stop the drug flow that does get past our inspections, we do daily surprise inspections and recover anything we can get our hands on.
It doesn’t take much for these inmates to have an advantage over officers. Something as simple as a toothbrush could be sharpened into a weapon. Cellphones in the jail pose a whole new set of problems because these inmates can then speak with people on the outside without us being able to monitor those calls. Drugs are a problem that we pay extra close attention to for a number of reasons.
An inmate who is high on something like crack will become ten times as strong as they normally are, requiring us to have more manpower to take him down before he seriously hurts someone. Then you have the instances where inmates are ordering other inmates to sell the drugs for them and kick back the money. This is usually the case with gang members, and it really can make for a very dangerous situation.
The day that Securus Technologies updated our inmate call monitoring system was huge for me and my team. Securus Technologies is in 2,600 jails and this Dallas-based company has the single objective of making our world just that much safer. We had no idea before we were trained on the LBS software exactly how this resource would help our efforts with drugs, but what a surprise we were in for.
It wasn’t but a few days after we all began monitoring the call system that we got our first glimpse of how bad the drug problem really was. One call revealed an inmate talking about how he got drugs from his friends at the visitor center. Another call exposed inmates who were getting drugs in the mail under our noses. We were even able to discover how inmates were hiding the drugs in their cells even after surprise cell inspections.