Fri | Oct 15, 2021

2,300 phones seized in correctional facilities over the last year

Published:Friday | September 24, 2021 | 3:08 PM
Samuda again repeated that steps are under way to amend current legislation to criminalise the possession, use, and smuggling of electronic devices, particularly phones, into correctional facilities - File photo.

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security Matthew Samuda says 2,300 cell phones were seized in correctional centres over the last year.

Samuda, in his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate earlier this afternoon, reiterated that the Government is committed to cracking down on contraband entering these facilities.

He again repeated that steps are under way to amend current legislation to criminalise the possession, use, and smuggling of electronic devices, particularly phones, into correctional facilities.

Samuda reminded his parliamentary colleagues that one of the challenges faced by law enforcement was the use of phones by criminal gangs from behind bars to instruct their cronies to commit crimes.

In June this year, Cabinet approved drafting instructions for legislative amendments to various sections of the Corrections Act and the Adult Institutions Rules to address the issue of prohibited items in correctional institutions.

He said that the first phase of the amendment is intended to provide stronger legislative support to security arrangements and controls within correctional centres while facilitating tighter control of prohibited articles being transported in and out of the facilities.

Samuda also said that the government is moving to procure appropriate technology to monitor entry points, search and scan for devices and disrupt electronic communication in correctional facilities.

He said that a comprehensive review of the Corrections Act was ongoing, with the exercise expected to be finalised by the end of this calendar year.

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