Drugs in the prison can be especially problematic for corrections officers because they simply add another element to an already dangerous job. If the officers are not paying close attention every second they are on the job, the inmates can make things dangerous in the blink of an eye. An already troublesome inmate is ten times harder to contain if they are on drugs, so we have to use every resource possible to keep the drugs out of the prison.
My team of corrections officers begin this quest to find illegal drugs by searching visitors, or basically anyone that can come in and out of the jail. These inmates will often make demands of family or friends to get them the contraband they need, even if it means putting their own freedom on the line to try and smuggle something through security. Gang members especially will order street members to get drugs into the jail any way possible, and jail to these soldiers is like a badge of honor.
Our prison was the first in the area to get the new Securus Technologies inmate call system installed, and we were instantly given a new resource that can help with drugs in the prison. My team needed to be trained on the LBS software, but once we completed the training, it was like we were able to see the inmates in a whole new light.
The Securus Technologies phone system allows me and my fellow officers to not only listen to every conversation the inmates have, we can be alerted to specific chatter. This month we used the call system to learn about drug deliveries in the visitor center, inmates using drugs in the cell at night, and certain inmates who were forcing others to sell drugs to kick up to the higher-ranking inmates.