Securus Technologies Finds Solution for Ending Inmate Cell Phone Activity within Correctional Facilities
When Ronald Johnson was leaving for work on the morning of March 5, 2010, he was met with an armed gunman with a rifle pointed at him. It was an ordered “hit” from inmates at the Lee Correctional Institution where he was a Captain.
“I knew immediately…this was probably a hit,” Ronald later stated. He was able to quickly get to his bathroom which may have saved his life. With his wife still asleep in bed, Ronald was shot seven times with all bullets hitting him in the stomach and chest. “I saw that he raised the barrel of a gun towards me.” Ronald said. “And I don’t remember anything after [that]…” Doctors at the hospital told his wife that his chance for survival was very thin, but with prayer and her faith in God, she held onto hope with the hospital Chaplin close by.
When Ronald recounted the prior weeks at work, he recalled having to order the confiscation of a contraband package valued at $50,000 that was for a known gang member within Lee Correctional Institution.
Through investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), it was discovered that three inmates used a cell phone to contact Sean Echols, a prior inmate at the Lee Correctional Institution, with a plot to kill Ronald in retaliation for intercepting the package. Through cell phone records, the FBI determined the ex-convict was paid a large sum of money as a down payment to execute Ronald. Sean Echols later confessed to the crime of murder-for-hire and was convicted in federal court.
For seven years, Ronald has advocated for changes within the correctional facilities regarding inmates using cell phones. In March 2017, he spoke with the Federal Communications Commission about his incident and countless others. Ronald is now a consultant for Securus Technologies. The company is the largest provider for law enforcement and correctional facilities to handle inmate communications and correctional facility monitoring using technology solutions.
The cell phone usage involving an attempted murder of Ronald is only one of many incidents within the inmate population. In a shocking video that was posted on social media by 31-year old Jose Ariel Rivera, who was in the Evans Correctional Institution on a 10-year sentence, showed him wielding a knife. He used a cell phone to post the video.
Securus Technologies wants incidents like these to end. The company has invested $40 million to the Wireless Containment System (WCS). The system was designed to interject a signal through a network to filter any incoming and outgoing cell phone activity by prison inmates. To date, with the use of WCS, Securus Technologies has already been able to detect and prevent 1.7 million illegal attempts at cell phone communication within eight correctional facilities by prison inmates.