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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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'Jail is easy' tweets may get Cumbrian prisoner extra time

An inmate may get extra jail time added to his sentence after boasting “jail is easy” on a social media site.

haveriggp1
Haverigg Prison: Fears raised that noise from turbines would keep prisoners awake. Inset, a turbine

Luke Anderson was caught after a string of posts on Twitter boasted of being in “Costa del Haverigg” and vowing never to return to jail.

Anderson is serving time in HMP Haverigg, dubbed one of the country’s most isolated jails by inspectors.

He posted about listening to the radio and joking with a friend who said: “How are you on Twitter in jail” before adding: “I’m going to write a letter of complaint to HMP Haverigg for this, it’s terrible”.

The posts are the latest in a string of discoveries which included seven inmates who posed for pictures in their jail cells along with tens of inmates caught using Facebook and Twitter.

Among his posts, Anderson said: “On Costa del Haverigg coast line.

“Yeah man got the beach there as well... ha.”

Prison staff will now search his cell and he risks further jail time being added to his sentence.

Last week it was revealed how 42 mobile phones were recovered from inmates in 2013, along with around seven sim cards.

Under UK law it is an offence for prisoners to have a mobile phone or sim card while in jail.

Anderson’s account is due to be closed by officials and it is understood he is due to be punished.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “The justice secretary has made clear that it is totally unacceptable for prisoners to access social networking sites or instruct others to do so on their behalf.

“No prisoner should be in any doubt that if they break the rules they will be stripped of their privileges and may be reported to the police for further action.”

Meanwhile, the jail has now started recruiting new full time guards after it had to draft in support with staff shortages.

The first recruit is already in training and there are due to be around 10 more positions created.

Karen Stewart, people hub manager at HMP Haverigg, said: “We’ve had a situation regarding recruitment for the last two-and-a-half to three years when there have been no newly-recruited officers.

“There has been a lot of movement in the prison service with existing officers moving from different prisons and we’ve not been able to do any recruiting to Haverigg.”

An inspection team visited the prison earlier this year and said it was among the most isolated in the country, making it unpopular with staff and inmates alike.

However, two recruitment days, set to take place on July 1 and August 1, aim to end that.

Ms Stewart added: “It can be quite challenging but there’s a lot of opportunities for training and for promotion.”

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