One of the most serious threats to the face the nation’s prisons today is that posed by contraband cellular devices. Although these devices may seem harmless to outsiders, illegal cell phones are one of the greatest risks to institutional safety that there is. This is because gangs use these devices to illegally communicate with the outside world, potentially imperiling witnesses in criminal cases, judges and officers on the outside and ordinary civilians alike.
In fact, illegal cell phones have been proven to be the means by which serious crimes have been committed. Gang leaders or shot callers on the inside of prisons often use illegal communications devices to circumvent the controls in place to prevent crimes from being talked about or carried on over prison communication systems. The crimes that have been committed using illegal cellular devices are as bad as any that have landed the criminals in jail in the first place. Crimes up to and including massive drug deals and even assassinations of witnesses have been carried out directly through the use of illegal cellular devices.
But these devices also pose a threat to the safety of inmates within the prison. Although it is possible for inmates to communicate with one another, even in high-security areas of the nation’s prisons, the means that inmates have of communicating with each other are typically quite burdensome. This slows down the ability of inmates to carry out criminal enterprises within the prison themselves, giving guards ample opportunity to intercept and stop any serious criminal plots or situations that may endanger the safety of the institution.
But with cell phones, inmates are suddenly able to communicate effectively and instantaneously. For this reason, Securus Technologies, the nation’s leading inmate communications provider, has deployed a technology it calls Stingray. This technology is interdicting cell phones and making it impossible for criminals to use them or introduce them into facilities where they are banned.