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Prisons chief vows crackdown after inmate has photo posted on Facebook

A Facebook account shows photos of an inmate in Phitsanulok prison.

A Facebook account shows photos of an inmate in Phitsanulok prison.

A Phitsanulok prisoner who managed to have a picture of himself in chains posted on Facebook after transmitting it via a cell-phone - a prohibited item for inmates - will be punished along with those who supplied the device, Corrections Department chief Suchart Wong-anantachai vowed.

As Phitsanulok Prison hadn't yet been declared a "white prison" - meaning free from drugs and other prohibited items, and equipped with phone signal-scrambling equipment - inmates there could still find ways to get online, Suchart said.

As a result he urged officials to be stricter about screening and searching cell blocks for prohibited items. As for the punishment for the inmate in question, he said a fact-finding panel would be set up to probe this case before deciding on disciplinary or criminal punishments.

Following criticism of prison authorities, the Facebook page was not accessible yesterday.

The inmate was identified as rape convict Mawin Sompanwong, 28, who is held in Zone 5 of Phitsanulok Prison.

Prison director Pongmit Prasertsakul said Mawin, who was jailed for five years in 2008, was due for release on November 1. Pongmit said that since taking up his post on April 4 he had eyed making this prison a "white prison".

He regularly launched impromptu cell-block searches, but there were still some blind spots where people hid cell phones for inmates, and the cell-phone signal-scrambling device there only worked occasionally, he said.

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