In the jail that I work as a corrections officer, we have the largest mix of gang members anywhere in the country. With so many different gangs in one location, we have to really put in a considerable effort to keep them separated and allow them their own space or things will get violent quickly. While we try to give the gang members a degree of respect in jail, many times we have to really tighten things down because they try to push the boundaries and it puts everyone in danger.
As dangerous as it can be to have to be outnumbered by gang members 4:1 in the confides of the jail, things get worse when you add drugs or weapons into the mix. As tight as we keep security, these inmates have developed a number of ways to get their hands on all the contraband they need to make life easier on the inside. We have to really step up our efforts at the visitor center so no one can pass things to the inmates. Most days we do a great job of keeping drugs and weapons out of the jail.
When my team was training to use the new LBS software of the Securus Technologies inmate call monitoring system, we had yet another resource that was going to yield a wealth of information and help us to tighten things down. The monitoring system is able to listen to all the calls at the same time while giving officers the ability to be elsewhere to conduct business.
What we discovered was top-ranking gang members in jail will use the phones at the exact same time every day and give coded messages to those soldiers on the outside. We can not pick up on key conversations that tip us off to certain activities that should not be going on in the jail.