My jail has the heaviest population of gang members in the country. The problem has become so bad that we have to separate the inmates now based on their gang affiliation in order to keep the peace. Even then, unsuspecting inmates who walk in and cross an imaginary line find themselves being attacked without eve knowing why.
To help control the violence, we have to eliminate things like drugs and weapons. The inmates use the drugs to sell to addicts and then use the cash to buy things. They use the weapons to control other inmates or to lash out at the guards. My team has to go through a number of processes each day to try and control contraband from getting to the inmates. If we were to stop for even a day, the problem would quickly go from dangerous to deadly.
When we set up my team in the visitor center, it is in an effort to stop people from the outside from bringing things to the inmates. We do several full body searches, even letting the dogs loose to see if they detect anything. We have another resource that proves to be even more effective.
Securus Technologies installed the telephone monitoring system we now use to listen to inmate calls. The LBS software is so effective it allows us to be in other place while the system scans calls for all sorts of verbiage. When inmates talk about drugs, we get an alert and can often spring into action immediately. The company is based out of Dallas, and all 1,000 employees work every day towards the single objective of making the work safe.
Now we can hear inmates talking about selling drugs, making others sell drugs, and even how they receive drugs, allowing us to nip things in the bud as they are happening.