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Prisoners 'laughing' at minister: Foley

Prisoners 'laughing' at minister: Foley

  • 2015-10-20

NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott has promised to make inmates' lives tough, but the state opposition says several escapes and revelations of mobile phone use highlight the need for more than rhetoric.

Prisoner, Wesam Hamze, who is linked to Brothers 4 Life, allegedly posted pictures to his Instagram site from Parklea prison in Sydney, and used a mobile phone to post comments about guards allegedly sneaking in drugs and tobacco.

The inmate's phone was seized on Wednesday, prompting dawn raids on Thursday at Parklea prison, where a shiv and two mobile phones were seized.

Last month, minimum-security inmate Beau Wiles, who escaped from Goulburn jail, appears to have been active on Facebook while serving his 18-month sentence for shoplifting and driving offences.

Just two days before he fled, a post appeared on his page of him posing in his underpants.

Wiles was captured within 24 hours of his escape.

Mr Elliott praised the "swift action" taken by corrective services at Parklea, saying mobile phones are a challenge for correctional systems across the world.

"We believe effective signal jamming technology is the ultimate answer because even if an inmate can smuggle a mobile phone into the prison, it will be worthless," he said.

Opposition leader Luke Foley said Mr Elliott had boasted he would be tough on prisoners.

"But what we've seen in a stream of prisoners walking out the prison gates and now mobile phones walking back inside the gates," Mr Foley told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

"He promises scanners, he promises jammers. I see Instagram-ers".

He said prisoners are "laughing at this minister".

In August convicted armed robber Stephen Jamieson cut through the metal fence of his segregated cell at Goulburn prison before allegedly using bedsheets to climb out of a jail yard and a pillow to get over a razor wire fence

The Parklea prisoner has since been transferred to Goulburn's Supermax, Corrective Services NSW said in a statement on Thursday.

Corrective Services says it's investigating the claims made on Instagram, including allegations about the smuggling of contraband into the prison, which is operated by the GEO Group.

The department says it takes a zero-tolerance to contraband, and full body scanners will be introduced into all maximum and medium security prisons across the state by the end of the year.

Mr Foley said the recent escapes and use mobile phones shows there are security issues at NSW prisons.

"The minister has to live up to his rhetoric and act," Mr Foley said.(from YAHOO NEWS)

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