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Authorities clarify use of mobile phones in prisons

Inmates are allowed to use mobile phones to contact family under the supervision of officers,  but the phones are kept in the Corrections office and not issued for personal keeping. Fiji Corrections Services spokesperson, Samantha Rina, told Newswire the pictures were taken at the Suva Remand Centre: Yes, we confirm the pictures were taken at […]

Peni Shute

January 26, 2016 4:12 pm

Inmates are allowed to use mobile phones to contact family under the supervision of officers,  but the phones are kept in the Corrections office and not issued for personal keeping.

Inmates posing for pictures in the Suva Remand Centre. PHOTO: Facebook
Photos from an anonymous source were circulated on Facebook depicting prisoners using mobile phones and taking selfies at the Suva Remand Centre. Graphic: Peni Shute/Newswire.

Fiji Corrections Services spokesperson, Samantha Rina, told Newswire the pictures were taken at the Suva Remand Centre:

Yes, we confirm the pictures were taken at the remand centre. Inmates are allowed to use mobile phones to contact family members and relatives. This is a privilege that is allowed under the supervision of Corrections officers. The phones are kept in the office and not issued to inmates for personal keeping.

If this privilege is found to be abused or violated, the inmate(s) is/are then restricted from using phones to contact their family members or relatives, in other words, this privilege is denied to them.

Ms Rina said there were conditions for inmates on the usage of mobile phones:

The Prisons Act does not allow for inmates to keep phones when incarcerated or in remand, however, they are allowed access to a phone under supervision and for a limited time.

This depends on the severity of the case and in most cases, inmates forfeit their remission when found guilty of possessing contraband items.

Ms Rina said mobile phones were smuggled into prisons and mostly through body cavities. She said in light of the recent pictures being circulated on social media, they intended to review relevant policies to control the types of phones the inmates were allowed to use.

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