UK Newspapers Prompt Shutdown Of Cell Phones


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As we reported last month, Facebook has become a popular way to stay connected while serving time behind bars. While some may use the social networking site just to pass time, other more insidious characters have been using their profiles to send threatening messages or mock victims and their families.

The Daily Record in the UK has also been following the trend in their prisons and Jails. Last week they made it clear to prison authorities when they published a list of high profile prisoners who were posting regular Facebook updates from incarceration. The article featured names and candid quotes from the very Facebook profiles of the offenders.

The Daily Record announced yesterday that there has been action taken as a result of the publications. A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service commented in a quote to the paper:

“As soon as we were made aware of the use of Facebook by prisoners, we took action as quickly as possible and we will continue to do so on this matter.”

“We are very grateful to the Sunday Mail for bringing this to our attention".

Apparently, the prisoners using Facebook in the Scottish prison have had their smart phones taken away and have been logged out of their Facebook accounts permanently. As of 2010, any person caught using a smartphone or other communication device while incarcerated is subject to having up to two years added to their present sentence. No mention was given if this action was taken in any of the cases.

In any event, all the abuses do bring up an interesting question about the degree of supervision these inmates are under while serving time. Justice spokesman David McLetchie summarizes it best with his comment on the matter:

“One does wonder though how they had failed to notice something that has been happening right underneath their noses.”