It is natural to assume that once a criminal has been convicted and placed in prison they are no longer a threat to society. Today’s news opposes that theory as it was revealed that while inmates are not allowed access to the internet, some of them have been smuggling in mobile phones in order to access it making them able to turn to cyber-bullying through Facebook.
According to the article at The Guardian, almost 350 people have been caught posting onto Facebook whilst serving a sentence in the past two years. Since then all the accounts have been closed by Facebook after investigations were carried out by prison officials. All were accessed without permission and it is also likely that not everyone who has accessed the site has been caught.
When the news was revealed it was of course met with some criticism, with the authorities and the system being question by campaigners. One member of Victim Support, Javed Khan even went as far as to say ‘Offenders using Facebook from prison makes a mockery of the idea that they are being punished.’ Another campaigner believes social networking sites should do more to ‘police this issue’ closer.
One of Britain’s most dangerous gangsters, Colin Gunn, who was charged for the murders of Joan and John Stirland in 2006, was able to access Facebook from prison two years ago in order to threaten his enemies. One of the 44 year-old’s posts read ‘It’s good to have an outlet to let you know how I am, some of you will be in for a good slagging and some have let me down badly and will be named and shamed ***ing rats.’
Facebook insists they are very quick to react when their policies are being abused. Who do you think should take responsibility in these types of situations the prison officials or the social network?