Being a prison guard may not officially be in the top ten most dangerous professions in the country today. But that does not mean that it is a normal job. In fact, prison guards face some of the most extreme threats to their safety and that of their family of any job there is.
One of the most severe threats to the lives of the brave men and women who are tasked with keeping the nation’s prisons safe and the public safe from those housed there is the threat posed by organized prison gangs. As the story of one prison guard, Robert Johnson, illustrates, for many of the nation’s prison guards, the right to life and safety is not always a guaranteed perk of the job.
Illegal cell phones are as dangerous as a loaded gun
Robert Johnson had spent 15 years of his adult life working as a guard at one of Florida’s most notorious maximum-security prisons. Over that time, he had proven himself to be a capable and courageous officer, eventually being promoted to the prison’s SERT team, an abbreviation standing for Special Emergency Response Team. It was his job, as a member of this elite team, to conduct high-risk cell searches and seizures of contraband.
On one mission, Johnson uncovered a package containing an estimated $50,000 worth of heroin that had been slated for distribution within the prison by a powerful gang. The gang quickly uncovered what officers were responsible for the confiscation, getting Johnson’s name from an informant to the gang.
One morning, as Johnson was preparing to go to work, a gunman kicked down his front door and stormed into his house. Firing point blank, the hitman unloaded 6 shots directly into Johnson’s chest and abdomen. Over the next month, Johnson clung tenuously to life. Eventually, he began the slow process to recovery. Today, after 23 surgeries and untold pain, he is back to feeling almost himself. The miraculous recovery is testament to his willpower and tenacity. In fact, Johnson is now back at work within the prison system.
Except now, he is acting as a salesman for Securus Technologies, the nation’s leading provider of inmate communications and prison security services. Johnson is selling a technology developed by Securus called the Wireless Containment System. It is almost certain that the cell phone used to order the hit that nearly claimed Johnson’s life would have been rendered inoperative, had the WCS technology been deployed in the prison where Johnson worked.
Now, he is making the rounds in prisons across the country, getting the word out that WCS is capable of totally eliminating the threat of unauthorized cell phones falling into the hands of gangs. Johnson believes that this technology has the potential to save thousands of lives.