The hardest part of my job as a corrections officer is being able to keep gang members from causing problems in the prison. As the population explodes in our facility of gang members, we have to walk that fine line of keeping the peace but keeping order as well. When you separate prisoners based on gang affiliation and they still try to kill each other, innocent people are going to get caught in the cross-fire.
To try and lessen the chances that innocent people are going to be hurt by gang members inside the jail, we have to stay vigilant and do certain things daily to tighten things up. When a visitor comes to the jail to see an inmate, we have to really be on our toes. We try to do a physical search and then have then walk through scanners, but contraband still changes hands.
Despite our best effort to do surprise cell inspections, these inmates often are a step ahead of my team and hide what they do not want us to see. That leaves us with perhaps the most powerful and revealing of all the tools at our disposal to fight this growing problem. When Securus Technologies placed their call monitoring system inside our prison, we were able to listen to these gang members on the phone in a whole new light.
Once the call monitoring system alerted my team of chatter from a gang member, it revealed things we had no idea were happening. Inmates talking about not only hiding drugs in plain sight, but forcing other lower-level gang members to sell those drugs and kick up the cash to the top-level gang members. This type of illegal activity is not tolerated, and besides being dangerous, is just something we can now identify and eliminate.