An investigation has been launched into suspected drug trafficking at the Gasquinoy prison in Béziers after an inmate posted videos and photos showing drugs and mobile phone use within the prison.
The footage was posted on a Facebook page created by the inmate called "C'est quoi une cellule" (This is what a cell is like).
In a particularly incriminating video, the unnamed prisoner is shown smoking what appears to be a joint by his cell window, before the camera zooms in on a drug stash of cannabis and pills.
In one of the videos the inmate even takes the viewer on a guided tour of his cell.
Another video shot in the prison yard shows the same inmate with his friends, one of whom is rapping.
And in a photo of the cell the inmate and three friends are pictured smiling and holding mobile phones.
The videos have attracted widespread attention on the social network, with many users complimenting the inmate.
A representative of the CGT Gasquinoy prison union confirmed that police from Nimes had on Monday been ordered to search the cell of an inmate suspected of being at the head of a drug trafficking ring organized inside the prison.
Quoted by Midi Libre, the union described the situation within the prison as “uncontrollable” with fights breaking out between prisoners who are free to wander between cells during the day.
The prison authority in charge of the prison, meanwhile, said that legal action would be taken against any prisoner found to be in possession of a mobile phone or other forbidden object.
According to Fabrice Caujolle, a representative of the UFAP, the majority of the phones were thrown into the prison courtyard from outside, especially on weekends when there is less security.
This isn’t helped by the fact that searches of inmates are prohibited after prison visits, he added.