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Authorities pledge overhaul after inmate deaths in E. China

Authorities in east China's Jiangxi Province have promised an overhaul on prisons after eight inmates died between 2008 and 2014.

An investigation team composed of officials with the provincial justice department and prison administration said on Saturday that "the deaths of the inmates reflect problems in our supervision."

Of the deaths at the prison in Ganzhou City, one was killed by another inmate, one died after falling from a building and one died of a drug allergy, in addition to five who died of illness, according to the investigators.

Two managerial staff of the prison who were implicated in the murder of inmate Liu Hailong in 2010 were removed from their posts, they said.

The investigation was launched in late January after family members of several dead inmates demanded the truth about the incidents in the prison, the city's procuratorate and the provincial government.

The investigators said the prison informed the family members right after the inmates' deaths and provided them with judicial identification of cause of death.

However, some incidents were not recorded because of a lack of surveillance cameras at the prison or technical failure of the cameras.

The officials also pledged to improve prisons by enhancing their security facilities and health services.

Lax supervision at Chinese prisons has been a public concern in recent years. In the latest scandal in January, a prisoner in Nehe prison, Heilongjiang Province, was found to be in contact with and  blackmailing women who lived near the prison via the mobile app WeChat. Mobile phones are banned in prisons and visiting times are monitored by prison guards.


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