Securus Technologies is Cracking Down On Inmate Contraband

What if something you use every day could be considered a weapon? For inmates of correctional facilities, the use of what seems to be common to the public are often prohibited for safety reasons. Simple household items like plastic kitchenware and art utensils, to electronics and inmate communication, can be used to carry out violence both inside and outside of prison walls. Former South Carolina Correctional Office, Robert Johnson, often shares his personal story, and the motivation behind his mission to crack down on inmate contraband.


In 2010, after intercepting a package believed to be worth $50,000, Johnson became a victim of inmate retaliation. Shortly after he woke to prepare for his work day, Johnson was startled by a loud sound at his front door. As a veteran in the correctional field, his first instinct immediately told him he was in danger. Fearing that the intruder was there to retaliate against him for intercepting the package weeks before, Johnson called the intruder into his hallways to keep his sleeping wife safe. After a brief struggle, he was shot six times in the chest and stomach. Although doctors warned Johnson’s wife to prepare for the worst, he pushed through and survived the terrifying encounter.


Inmates at the facility where Johnson worked had used a contraband cell phone to arrange his murder. Johnson’s story sheds light on just how easy it is to turn something seemingly so harmless, into a deadly weapon.


Leading provider of inmate technology and corrections monitoring, Securus Technologies, is taking major steps towards putting an end to the use of inmate cell phones. When Evans Correctional Institution inmate Jose Ariel Rivera posted a Facebook Live video showing off a knife, the world was outraged. The threat and danger of inmate contraband have been proven time after time, so what are we going to do about it? Securus Technologies says they have the answer. Several U.S. institutions have already installed Securus’ Wireless Containment Solutions software, which prevents cellphones from connecting to the commercial wireless network.


Rick Smith, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Securus says the process of acquiring software like theirs was simplified for correctional institutions by the FCC in March of 2017. The company has invested more than $40 million into the WCS software and is committed to its continued development and the safety of the general public.



ClassDojo is a reinvented classroom that brings teachers students and their parents close together so that they can help build the behavioral traits of students. The constant communication has enabled parents to monitor their kids, their experience and how they are behaving while in school.

The co-founders, Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don, formed the company to provide a communication platform where teachers to encourage students and get parents engaged too.

In the company’s reports, ClassDojo is actively used in 85,000 in the United States. They do face competition from other education tech companies like Remind, Nearpod, and Kickboard that connect students, parents, and schools

Teachers use this app daily to make schedules of activities that parents know of. Parents, on the other hand, monitor the kids through photos and videos of recent participation in an activity taken and sent to them by their teachers

The driving force of the company is the needs of the parents and teachers and what they require to enhance the chance of their kid’s success in life. According to Sam Chaudhary, the idea is to build good behavior, improve, and develop learning of students at school.

This company has been able to raise $21 million in the round B series for venture funding for tech that connects educators to students’ parents. General Catalyst led the company’s Series B round. The new investors included GSV, Reach Capital, and SignalFire.

The San Francisco-based startup to date has raised $31 million in venture funding. It has moved from education tech accelerator, Imagine K12, now a part of Y Combinator.

In the early days, the app was used as a tool to help shape behavior, but now it is used collaboration between parents, teachers, and students for collaboration. General Catalyst Managing Director, Hemant Taneja, sees the ClassDojo’s user growth as analogous to a social network and messaging platform like Facebook, Snapchat though being an app built for education.

He says that the main aim of the company is not monetization, but the provision of parents and teachers needs to make their kid’s life successful. ClassDojo has contents like custom yearbooks, videos, discussion guides, and lessons that could be used at home by parents and their kids. Transactional features could also be included to enable parents to pay schools for field trips, lunches, or supplies via phone instead of checks and cash that could be misplaced by kids in their backpacks.