Officers delete 55 illegal prisoner Facebook accounts

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TECH-SAVVY Scots prisoners have been signing on to social media from behind bars.

Figures released by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) showed that officers have deleted the accounts of 55 keen Facebook users in 2014 and 2015 alone.

The SPS launched 89 investigations into possible use of social media from behind bars over the same period, as use of the internet from prison is strictly forbidden.

The figures, released through a freedom of information request, show that the trend for social media on the inside is strongest in younger prisoners

The largest number of investigations undertaken and profiles unplugged occurred at Polmont prison, Scotland’s young offenders institute.

Prisoners are logging on from inside
Prisoners are logging on from inside

 

In 2014 there were ten investigations into the use of social media within Polmony walls, resulting in eight profiles being deleted.

Shotts prison, which houses offenders serving long sentences, undertook the second highest number of investigations in 2014 – eight – which resulted in three profiles being deleted.

The documents explained that whilst the prisons service could not themselves delete accounts, they could contact Facebook.

It read: “The SPS do not permit prisoners’ access to the internet and therefore to social media sites.

“SPS cannot close social media profiles. Upon identification of a profile for a prisoner, we request removal from the site.

“This is because there has been a breach of terms of conditions of use as they [the prisoner] have not been able to access the site through legal means or it has been accessed by a third party.”

A spokeswoman for the SPS said that they could not reveal how social media use inside prisons is detected.

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