In recent years, technologies for managing and detecting cellular signals have made their way into correctional facilities, some going so far as to claim to be “the” solution for eradicating contraband phones.
While most technologies are a viable tool in the toolbox, they are just that—a tool—and should simply be one of many instead of the singular solution.
Being a tool, these technologies must be accompanied with a comprehensive strategy.
Would you ever take a toolbox to a building site, take out a hammer, and start hammering boards without any strategy or an understanding of what you are building and the desired result?
Would you expect that one hammer to build an entire house without the need for screwdrivers, saws, levels, and dozens of other tools? Of course not.
First, you must recognize that no single tool will get the job done.
Second, you must establish a strategy that includes managing expectations, deploying blended solutions, and implementing an intelligence led corrections approach.
The first step is to clearly identify expectations.
In the United States, some practitioners have stated that the goal is to “make phones bricks” (render them useless).
However, if questioned more closely, the true goal of the facility is to keep phones out in the first place.
Too often practitioners get caught up in the marketing message that there is a technological solution that is going to completely eradicate contraband phones or make them useless within facilities.
Experience has proven this is not the case, even with the most expensive demand-focused technologies.
In fact, at best facilities may see a decrease in rate of introduction but not an eradication.
As a result, managing the expectation and gaining an understanding for the need to focus on the supply side of the equation is much more effective.
Deploying Blended Solutions
Once facilities realize that no single tool is going to rectify their problem, they can objectively evaluate the various available technologies to determine which would work best in their facilities.
No two facilities are the same, and there are significant variables that impact the technologies that should and can be deployed.
Such variables include a facility’s physical layout, operational procedures, surrounding environment, and budget.
GTL promotes a blended approach to detecting and eradicating illicit cell phones and other contraband items.
Specifically, our philosophy is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution; rather, correctional facilities need to consider combining multiple technologies based on their specific requirements.
Intelligence Led Corrections Approach
If the overall goal is to keep phones out of facilities, then an intelligence led corrections approach should be considered.
This means that facilities must adopt a strategy that focuses on addressing the root problem rather than simply trying to treat the symptom.
A strategy that jumps from symptom to symptom will never get to the source of the problem.
However, a strategy that can accomplish the three goals below will lead to greater results and a drastically reduced contraband cell phone problem within a facility.
- Detect contraband cell phones
- Forensically extract the data on the phones confiscated from inmates, and
- Analyze this obtained intelligence
GTL’s strategic blended approach is critical for a correctional facility’s success.
“Too many solutions on the market are narrowly focused and lack a sound deployment strategy,” explains Jeffrey B. Haidinger, President and Chief Operating Officer at GTL.
“GTL, on the other hand, recognizes the need to not only eradicate the demand of contraband devices but also focus on eliminating the supply.”
“Imagine a boat on a lake with a hole in the bottom. Before you worry about bailing the water out of the boat, you must first plug the hole.”
“The concept of GTL’s blended technology approach is the same; that while you want to remove phones from the facility, you must also invest in ‘plugging the hole’ to keep the phones out in the first place.”
“That’s why GTL has invested millions in deploying ferrous metal detection devices, body and baggage metal detectors, and other tools designed to stop the introduction of the contraband in the first place.”
“If you can stop the problem, there is no symptom to treat. Working consultatively with our customers allows us to jointly determine the particular combination of technologies that is right for them.”
Detection, Extraction, and Analysis
GTL’s Mobile IQ™ offers a strategically balanced approach to address both supply and demand of contraband cell phones.
A solution that looks at both the symptoms of the problem, in addition to the problem itself, offers a greater chance of success to a correctional facility.
Every year, thousands of contraband cell phones are seized from within the secure perimeter of correctional facilities.
They pose a threat to the safety and security of inmates, facilities, staff, and even members of the public.
Mobile IQ offers a proprietary approach that focuses on three primary areas—detection, extraction, and analysis.
Detection can be accomplished through a variety of means, which is why GTL supports a blended technology approach to detecting phones.
This can vary from low technology solutions such as staff pat-downs to high-end technology such as Managed Access.
These solutions can be used in combination with each other to offer the best possible solution to detecting and eliminating contraband cell phones from correctional facilities:
- Metal Detection Wands
- A portable solution designed to increase the deployment level of metal detection and increase cellular phone detection.
- Metal Detection
- A fixed solution designed to detect cellular phones at entry points or other areas within the facility.
- Ferromagnetic Detectors
- A portable/fixed solution designed to detect ferrous metals to include those found within cellular phones.
- Baggage inspection
- A fixed baggage and property inspection x-ray solution designed to inspect property on entry or within a facility.
- A portable solution where dogs are trained to detect cellular phones based on scene.
- IMSI Catching
- A portable solution designed to detect and document cellular phones operating within the facility.
- Drone Detection
- A fixed solution designed to detect frequencies or the audio “voiceprint” associated with a drone to warn the facility of an approaching drone.
- Managed Access Solutions (MAS)
- A fixed solution designed to detect and block unauthorized cellular phones operating within the facility.
Extraction of data from mobile devices is accomplished through a handful of forensic tools available to law enforcement and correctional facilities.
Upwards of 95% of all cellular phones on the market today can be forensically processed, including smartphones and PDA devices.
Analysis is facilitated using GTL Data IQ, the only data mining, link analysis application that is capable of ingesting any data source without IT development.
GTL’s blended approach is a well-rounded cell phone detection solution.
GTL can assess the needs of any correctional facility and design a customized plan using a variety of different technologies that will help eradicate contraband cell phones.
“GTL has always been on the forefront of technology, and in this case we are years ahead of our competitors,” added Tim Skaja, Senior Vice President of Product Management & Service Delivery at GTL.
“Looking at MAS alone, we have implemented three times that of all of our competitors combined.”
“We also have been informing our customers about the pros and cons of all technologies and helping them understand that there is no magic bullet when it comes to combatting contraband phones.”
“While MAS is effective in controlling calls it detects, it is not effective in preventing phones from getting into the facilities in the first place.”
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution, which is why we have found that combining multiple technologies in a manner tailored to meet the unique requirements of individual facilities is more effective and fiscally feasible.”
Managed Access Blended Approach
GTL has deployed over three times more technology to combat contraband cell phones than any other Inmate Telephone Solution (ITS) provider in the industry.
GTL is the industry thought leader, and this technology empowers our customers to stay on the cutting edge to keep their facilities and surrounding communities safe.
GTL’s Mobile IQ in 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program
The 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, is organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of Physical, IT, Port Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, (Fire, EMT, Military, Support Services Vets, SBA, Medical Tech) as well as the Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies – to acknowledge their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.’
As an ‘ASTORS’ competitor, GTL’s Mobile IQ will be competing against the industry’s leading providers of Innovative Cell Phone Detection Solutions.
American Security Today will be holding the 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon at 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m, Wednesday, November 15th at ISC East, the Northeast’s largest security industry event, in the Jacob Javits Exhibition Center in New York City.
At ISC East you will have the chance to meet with technical reps from over 225 leading brands in the security industry, allowing you to find out about new products and stay ahead of the competition.
Encompassing everything from Video Surveillance and Access Control to Smart Home Technologies and Unmanned Security, you’re sure to find products and services that will benefit your company and clients.