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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Prison investigator discusses system for tracking inmate information

  • Members of the Community Relations Board for the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth heard Thursday about a system used to track information about federal inmates.
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  • Members of the Community Relations Board for the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth heard Thursday about a system used to track information about federal inmates.
    TRUACCESS, and various components, can be used to monitor things such as inmates' email as well as keep track of their gang affiliations, according to Lt. Doug Wettlaufer with the USP's Special Investigative Section.
    "This basically links up every (Federal Bureau of Prisons) institution we have in the United States," he said.
    He spoke during a meeting of the Community Relations Board, which includes local government and business officials.
    He said the TRULINCS component is used to monitor inmates' email. The system can be used to search emails for specific words such as "fight" or "riot."
    He said every email written by an inmate has a two-hour hold placed on it before it is sent. He said emails can be placed on longer holds to allow for more extensive review.
    Wettlaufer said the computers inmates use for email are located in their cell houses. They don't have internet access for things such as a Google search.
    He said an inmate has to have a connection to the person he's emailing.
    Wettlaufer was asked if emails sent to attorneys are monitored.
    Associate Warden Jon Loftness said he doesn't believe there's an expectation of privacy when inmates use email or telephones. He said inmates only have privacy when they correspond with their attorneys through regular mail or when they're visited by attorneys in person.
    Wettlaufer said TRUFONE is the component used to monitor inmate phone calls.
    Information obtained through the monitoring of communications can help outside investigations. Loftness said there was a case about six months ago in which an inmate talked with others outside of the prison regarding who was responsible for homicides in the Kansas City area.
    "You can pass that information on," Loftness said.
    TRUWEB is used to track inmates' transactions. Wettlaufer said officials can see where inmates are sending money as well as who is sending them money.
    "It's a very good investigative technique," he said.
    He discussed other components used for things such as generating reports about incidents and tracking general information about inmates.
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