Illegal Prison Cell Phones Are on Their Way to Becoming Useless

A near-death experience and motivation of a man is making our streets a bit safer. Robert Johnson, a consultant to Securus Technologies and advocate of eliminating illegal cell phone contraband in prisons, has taken quite the road to where he is today.

 

Robert began his corrections career at Lee Correctional Institution, located in Bishopville, South Carolina. He eventually became quite adept at intercepting illegal contraband moving through the prison. After 15 years of service, his skills became so good that he was able to intercept a package of illegal contraband destined to a prison gang worth $50,000. The gang didn’t take this matter lightly. Using an illegal cell phone, they contacted an ex-convict on the outside and arranged a hit on Johnson. Although Johnson was critically injured during the assault, he went on to make a miraculous recovery. It was then learned that the entire crime was set up through the illegal cell phone.

 

This crime, as well as “hits” performed on others (including children), gave Johnson the motivation and new life goal of eradicating contraband cell phones in all prisons. He was hired on with Securus as a consultant and ultimately testified to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about his story. Johnson’s and others’ testimonies were influential and the FCC allowed this “call-jamming” technology to be used in prisons under certain rules.

 

Securus Technologies now works with many prisons nationwide to implement monitoring and other technologies that are important to increasing security. Their Wireless Containment Solution, or WCS, identifies the use of unauthorized cell phone numbers and then uses electronics to block the cell phone’s signal from reaching a tower, preventing the communication from being made. This system blocked 1.7 million communication attempts made by illegal cell phones during a recent 1-year period – in just eight prisons. Using contraband cell phones, gangs in prisons frequently try and run illegal activities carried out by members on the outside. As potentially hundreds of millions of communication attempts can be blocked as this technology takes hold in many more prisons, we can be assured that a lot of crime has been and will be prevented in our communities.

Is ClassDojo Right for Your Classroom?

 

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the mobile education app ClassDojo, but what exactly is ClassDojo, and is it the right tool to improve your classroom?

The Purpose of ClassDojo

ClassDojo was created as an educational communication app, built from the ground up for classroom usage. The purpose of the app is to provide a strong connection between teachers, students, and the parents of those students, in order to provide a medium for the sharing of messages and multimedia content during school hours through a safe and controlled environment.

The app is actively used in a significant majority of K-8 schools across the United States, as well as having significant adoption in more than 180 other countries.

Classroom Usage of ClassDojo

There are three primary features of the app that make it ideal for classroom usage. A description of each of these major features follows in no particular order. The first of these is the Stories feature, stories being real-time dynamic streams of content (such as video or images) centered around the school itself, a class, or even an individual student. Each story serves a purpose and shares a facet of the school experience with family, fellow students, or teachers.

Another major feature is the messenger portion of the app, a system which allows the school’s administration and teachers to keep in touch with parents via real-time text communication, without the need to share personal contact information. The messenger includes built-in translation services supporting many major languages.

The third of these features is the classroom, a place where students, as well as teachers, are able to build a creative environment, nurture their skills, and share opinions and feedback with both their teachers and their fellow students.