Securus Technologies, one of the country’s premier inmate communications providers, has recently unveiled a much anticipated tool in the fight against the proliferation of illicit cell phones in the nation’s prison system. Known as the Wireless Communications System, the apparatus is proven to be able to intercept 100-percent of illegal phone calls in any institution where it is deployed. The device also allows corrections officers to locate any illicit cell phone with pinpoint accuracy, bringing the rate of illegal phone confiscations during random cell searches down to nearly zero in the institutions where the system has been installed. This indicates that the number of illegal cell phones being operated by inmates in those institutions has been dropped to almost nothing.
Serious tools for a serious problem
The Wireless Containment System has its roots in technology that was developed for use on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. There, a system known as Stingray was developed in order to intercept all enemy communications over cellulars networks. The device worked by tricking all phones within its operation range into thinking that they were connecting to the network’s nearest relay tower, when, in fact, they were connecting to the Stingray device. The device gave the operator the ability to either block the call outright or send it through to the tower undetected, enabling the operator to listen in and record the entire phone call.
The civilian version is much less powerful, giving it an operating radius of approximately the size of the prison grounds. One of the major obstacles in adopting the technology was the need to prove to the FCC that the device would not interfere with legitimate cellular communications. Some detractors of the system point out that this issue has not yet been fully solved. People living in immediate proximity to prisons where the Wireless Containment System are deployed may not be able to place cell phone calls normally.
However, enough of the kinks have been worked out that they system has been approved for use in some of the country’s more remote locations. Securus believes that the system will be perfected sometime within the next year, opening the door to widespread deployment, possibly in all of the nation’s jails and prisons.
This powerful cell phone detection and interdiction suite has demonstrated a 100-percent effectiveness rate in prisons where it has been installed, leading to all unauthorized cellular calls being placed within the prison to being intercepted and blocked.
This is good news for the nation’s penal facilities, which have been beset by the proliferation of illicit cell phones. With the Wireless Containment system becoming widely available, this serious threat to the safety of institutions and the public may soon be a concern of the past.