I work as a corrections officer, and without a doubt this is the most dangerous job that I have ever had. There is not a day that goes by without the inmates trying to hurt one another, visitors, or fellow corrections officers. The fact the inmates have us outnumbered adds another element of danger to the mix, but we have some resources we use to help keep us safer each day.
First, we have a very strong police presence in the visitors center. Each person that enters the jail is informed that if they have anything illegal on them that they will be arrested on the spot. That does not deter certain gang members who feel they could earn some credibility in the gang by taking such a risk.
Secondly, we are always performing surprise cell inspections on the inmates. While we have limited success in finding cellphones, drugs, and weapons, it still has to be some sort of deterrent. Inmates who are serving lengthy prison sentences tend to ignore the risks, so we still have one more resource at our disposal.
Lastly, we have been monitoring the calls inmates make using a dated system that does yield some results. Recently, Securus Technologies updates our inmate call system and trained us how to use the software. Now when inmates talk on the phone, the software can alert us to chatter that the inmates are trying to disguise. Each day, we are able to hear conversations about inmates directing others to bring in weapons or drugs, hide contraband in the yard, or unique places to hide things inside the cells.
Although the inmates know we are listening, they do not realize how Securus Technologies has changed what we hear now when they are speaking to one another. Our crime rate has dropped significantly as a result.