Securus Technologies is employing its own method to interrupt calls made by prisoners using contraband cell phones.
Wireless Containment Solutions (WCS) can be used to control illegal mobile devices in prisons, according to Craig Bermudez of GCReport.com. The system establishes a local cellular network inside correctional facilities.
“For phones to access provider networks, they must be screened and approved by the local network,” GCReport.com reported. “This allows prison (officials) to prevent unauthorized calls in the facility.”
The WCS also collects data on unauthorized cell phones detected on the local network, it was reported.
Richard A. Smith, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Securus, said his company “has invested over $40 million and counting into WCS,” Tech News Spy reported. Smith said Securus “will continue to develop its proven solution to ensure that it continues to be the most effective means of eradicating contraband cell phones in our nation’s correctional facilities.”
Securus Technologies, Global Tel Link (GTL) and other leaders in the inmate calling service industry lose millions of dollars in revenue when inmates bypass authorized telephone systems established for their use. In some states, inmates’ family and friends have to pay more than $15 for a 15 minute call.
Earlier this year, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit voted to stop a Federal Communication Commission (FCC) price cap placed on phone companies that provide inmate calling services for in-state calls made from correctional facilities. Securus and GTL filed the petition to block the price cap.
WCS operates similar to Managed Access System (MAS), which also uses a local cellular network to manage calls and detect unauthorized wireless signals in prisons.
Several years ago, GTL rolled out MAS in California prisons with some success. At the time, the California Council on Science and Technology said MAS was not a proven technology.
“The FCC voted to streamline the process for correctional facilities to access contraband interdiction technology, like Securus’ WCS, by reducing the amount of paperwork and requiring wireless carriers to work with facilities,” Smith said in an August press release.
Ajit Pai, the new FCC chairperson appointed by President Trump, said the agency’s lawyers would not defend the price cap in court.
According to Tech News Spy, a Securus press release stated its WCS “detected and an excess of 1.7 million illicit communication attempts across a span of eight U.S. facilities,” between July 2016 and 2017.
“Indeed, the FCC has worked in conjunction with companies like Securus in recent months to ensure legislative compliance and increased efficiency in program development and implementation,” Tech News Spy reported. “‘It’s a welcome and timely partnership,’ according to Smith.”