Nfld. & Labrador

HMP inmates not using Facebook, superintendent says

Graham Rogerson, the superintendent of Newfoundland and Labrador's prisons, says inmates are not accessing their social media accounts while behind bars, despite evidence to the contrary.

Graham Rogerson: 'I would believe that that's not actually occurring'

Graham Rogerson says he's confident cell phones aren't being smuggled into the province's prisons for inmate use. (CBC)

The superintendent of Newfoundland and Labrador's prisons says despite online messages, the inmates are not accessing their social media accounts while behind bars.


CBC News previously spoke to former guards and inmates at Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's, who allege cell phones are being smuggled into the prison for inmates to use.

Graham Rogerson said it's more likely someone outside the prison is using the account under an inmates name.

"I would believe that that's not actually occurring," he told CBC News. 

"Facebook is very easily manipulated by anybody — it doesn't have to be the account holder who's in it," he said.

"We're satisfied that the policies that we have in place that absolutely prohibit cellphones [and] internet usage by offenders while incarcerated [are] not allowing this to happen."

Direct messages used

CBC News has repeatedly observed updates and photographs to Facebook accounts of inmates currently serving time at the Pen, and has occasionally received direct messages via Facebook as well. 

Rogerson said staff and guards at the prison are diligent in executing proper security measures.

"There is no security measure anywhere that is 100 per cent solid," he said. 

"It is always possible [to get by], but I am satisfied that through staff diligence, our searching, technology, information that we've got, that we are absolutely limiting any possibility of that occurring."

According to Rogerson, the issue of cellphone use by inmates while behind bars is an ongoing issue throughout all Canadian jurisdictions, and policy and legislation change is being sought to limit access.

"It's not just in Newfoundland — it's right across the country that cellphones are being chased."

Rogerson added prison officials are working closely with other enforcement agencies to ensure victims of crime aren't being further victimized. 


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