Prison boss working to address prisoners with active Facebook profile

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The issue of prisoners having active Facebook accounts was brought to the forefront on Friday when Director of Prisons (ag), Gladwin Samuels met with the media.

However, to tackle the problem, Samuels said the prison authorities have to first be able to weed out smuggling of cell phones and the collusion among prison officers and prisoners.

“Cell phones as far as I’m aware, despite they’re called ‘Smart’, I have not come across one that is capable of walking,” the Prison Director said.

He further noted: “my thing is, that if these searches are being done –and I am subjected to the same search when I am going into the prison which is a detailed search –so it is either collusion at that point or there is a possibility that the items are still being hurled over Camp Street (prisons) fence and being transported by probably prison officers or orderlies who are working in the facility.”

The issue of active Facebook profiles by prisoners caused much alarm when on May 10, 2018, 34-year-old Abdul Andre Azimullah, who is on remand for murder, posted photos of himself and other inmates at the New Amsterdam prison having a party with the full complement of expensive alcohol, juice, drugs and cellphones inside the penitentiary.

The prisoners consuming alcohol inside the prison [Photo credit: Facebook]
The cell phones were later seized. There have been other videos circulating in which the prisoners boast of the “good life” they are having.

The problem is not new, however, since in March 2016, prisoners took to their Facebook profiles to complain about the treatment being meted out to them at the prison.

According to a ‘Study of Inmates in Guyana’ released in April 2018, 21.4% of prisoners have access to cell phones across Guyana’s five prison locations.

The report was conducted by representatives of the Center for Latin American Studies on Crime and Violence (CELIV), UNTREF, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

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