Probe into Facebook posts by undertrials

: Director General of Prisons Alexander Jacob on Wednesday suspended from service Superintendent of Prison, District Jail, Kozhikode, R. Sajan, as part of the inquiry into the allegation that at least five undertrial prisoners had unrestricted access to mobile phones while in remand custody, which they allegedly used to make long duration calls and regularly update their Facebook accounts, allegedly with the tacit connivance of certain jail officials.

Investigators said the photographs appeared to have been snapped in nooks and corners of the prison not covered by its surveillance camera network.

The police have registered a case and are investigating the undertrials on the charge of violating prison rules, an offence which carries a maximum punishment of six months of simple imprisonment.

The law enforcement has written to Facebook to part with digital trail left behind by the undertrials on the social networking sites, including the timing of the posts and the servers through which their Internet activities were routed.

The police said smuggling of mobile phones into prison was not always a totally preventable crime.

Even administrators of super maximum security prisons in developed countries encountered the problem periodically.

He said that expensive mobile jammers were not the sole answer to the problem.

Such jammers disrupted communications in the densely populated neighbourhoods of State prisons and service providers often changed their transmission frequencies following complaints from customers in such localities.

Mr. Alexander had also inquired the possibility of installing mobile phone communication detectors and grabbers on prison premises.

However, such devices were not available in the open market and their efficacy was not known.

The solution to such violations might lie in better human intelligence collection from inside prisons, strict adherence of prison rules and practices and more humanitarian approach to correctional administration.

Mr. Alexander has posted P. Ajay Kumar, a lecturer attached to the State Institute of Correctional Administration, as the new Superintendent of the prison.


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