Disciplinary action for Facebook-active Pollsmoor inmates

2015-07-11 06:50
(Photo: Shutterstock)

(Photo: Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)

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Cape Town - Three inmates at the Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town who opened a Facebook page and posted images of themselves in jail, will face disciplinary action soon, the Department of Correctional Services said on Friday. 

"An investigation has been opened, and a joint operation, comprising correctional services and other law enforcement agencies, has been initiated to get to the root of the illegal activity," department spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said in a statement. 

The investigations into the matter were expected to be concluded within seven days and this would be followed by the disciplinary processes. 

"The DCS views the creation of an "inmate Facebook account", at Pollsmoor Correctional Centre in Cape Town, in a serious light, and will deal with the instigators – be they inmates or officials," Wolela said. 

Three inmates as well as prison officials had already been questioned about the Facebook page. 

Wolela said the inmates had allegedly used cellphones to gain access to the social networking page.

Security had since been tightened at prison facilities with thousands of cellphones being seized. 

"Further, the installation of state-of-the-art cellphone detection technology, at various correctional centres across the country, is at an advanced stage with installation at Pollsmoor expected to start soon," said Wolela.

"Other centres include Umzinto, Durban-Westville, St Albans, Johannesburg and Kgosi Mapuru II. The installation of the cellphone technology is a pilot phase, informed by a security risk assessment which identified priority centres in respect of security."

He said the introduction of the technology follows its success in new generation correctional centres, built with standard cellphone detection systems, including Malmesbury and Brandvlei in the Western Cape, Tswelopele and Mangaung in the Free State/Northern Cape region, as well as Kutama Sinthumule in the Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and North West region.

 Meanwhile, Wolela called on members of the public and families of inmates to stop smuggling phones into the prison. 

"[The celphones] are used to perpetrate further criminal activities including cybercrime," Wolela said. 


Read more on:    cape town  |  cybercrime  |  prisons

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