People who have not spent extensive time in the U.S. prison system often have misconceptions about the way that prisons operate. Although guards and administrators do their best to fight ongoing criminal activity within the nation’s carceral institutions, without spending vast sums of money and having staff to prisoner ratios approaching one to one, there is no way for prison staff to completely eliminate criminal activity within the nation’s jails and prisons.
As a result, prison administrators operating with limited resources need all the help they can get in maintaining order and safety in the institutions that they operate. The threats of gang activity and petty crime taking place in prisons is so great that there is virtually not a single institution anywhere in the United States that has managed to significantly stamp out crime taking place within its walls.
One of the most serious threats faced by prison administrators and staff is that presented by gang activity. Gangs are extremely dangerous because of their ability to carry out highly organized and sometimes lethal criminal activities against inmates, staff and even civilians on the outside. But gangs rely heavily on the ability to communicate with the outside world in order to carry out their ongoing criminal activities.
One company, Securus Technologies, has been able to harness the power of technology to significantly reduce the number of crimes committed by organized gangs within the nation’s prisons. It has been able to do this through the use of high technology, including the deployment of machine learning and other artificial intelligence algorithms, which allow the automated monitoring of all communications taking place on the prison’s communication systems. These automated processes are then able to alert staff only to the most pressing concerns, such as gang members planning criminal activity or known criminals on the outside conversing with those on the inside of a prison.