Prisoners caught using mobiles to update Bebo site

EIGHT prisoners have been disciplined after it was discovered they were accessing their Bebo website using mobile phones.

Staff looked up two web pages on the social networking site after they received intelligence information, understood to be from the Garda Síochána.

They identified the prisoners from photos uploaded to the webpages by mobile phone. It is thought some of those involved are members of a gang from west Dublin.

It is the latest incident involving the use of mobile phones in prisons and the second involving the use of Bebo by inmates within the last month.

The latest embarrassing incident happened in the Training Unit, a pre-release prison located on the Mountjoy prison complex in Dublin. A prison source said: “Prison staff in the unit discovered a number of prisoners were accessing and updating their Bebo webpages. Eight prisoners have been disciplined and removed from the training unit and sent back to closed prisons.”

It is understood that two prisoners were taking photos of themselves and six other inmates and uploading them. Officers suspect they used at least one mobile phone although no phones have been seized.

Unlike Mountjoy Prison and St Patrick’s Institution for Young Offenders — also on the same complex — the Training Unit does not have any of the security screening equipment recently installed to detect the smuggling of mobile phones.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “The problem will only be finally solved by mobile phone blocking technology that is being developed.” He said the pilot of the equipment in the Midlands Prison was almost complete.

Last month, Limerick criminal Liam Keane was disciplined after pictures showing him in his cell were taken on a mobile phone and used to update his Bebo page.

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