I am employed by the state jail and my job is keeping the peace in the jail. As corrections officers, we are outnumbered by the inmates 4:1, and if we are not paying very close attention each day, we could easily be put in harms way. To make matters worse, if the inmates are able to smuggle in weapons or drugs, they become even more of a dangerous threat.
To keep the jails safe, we are in turn keeping the town safer because there is less likely a chance they will escape and put our citizens at risk. Our first defense to keep the jail safe is stepping up the visitor inspections. I work on those front lines, and it is a daily struggle to check each individual before they come in contact with the inmates. That being said, even with strict efforts the inmates somehow get their hands on contraband.
We also do surprise cell inspections to uncover drugs and weapons. Even after a clean sweep, the following week the same cells have more contraband. These illegal items put our officers in danger because one inmate who is high on heroin with a weapon is more challenging to subdue. What would take a couple officers now takes a half-dozen, and even then, this inmate could injure us all in a rampage.
Last year Securus Technologies installed an updated inmate phone system that changed the way we stop the flow of contraband in the jail. After being trained on the LBS software, my team is able to pick up on chatter that alerts us to when weapons or drugs are being discussed. Even when the inmates think they are talking in code, we can find out who is bringing in the drugs, where weapons are hidden, and even if inmates are talking about getting out of the jail.