The California Department of Corrections is planning to crack down on inmate social network use which means pretty soon, prisoners might have to permanently log out. Facebook plans to help the department by removing inmate accounts.
Many inmates have been accessing their Facebook accounts via smartphones that have been smuggled into prisons. While some of the prisoners are using Facebook to update their friends and family, there are some who are using the service to send threats or make unwanted sexual advances.
Last year, one inmate contacted a 17-year-old girl he molested when she was a child. The inmate had not seen the victim in 7 years but he sent her family letters that contained drawings that portrayed the girl at 17 years old. Everything from how she wore her hair to the brand of clothes she wore was accurate. Later, the Department of Corrections discovered that he had used Facebook from a cellphone that was smuggled into the prison to view the girl’s Myspace and Facebook accounts. His drawings were based on photos he viewed on those accounts.
Inmates are allowed to have a Facebook account but they cannot update it during their time of incarceration. Facebook has been working with law enforcement across the country to delete accounts that have been updated even if they’re being updated by a family member who isn’t behind bars.
While crime victims are applauding the crack down, prisoner’s rights group claim that the new policy is unfair. They believe that prisoners should be able to use social networks as a way to stay connected to family and tell the media about potentially threatening conditions inside of prison.
Isaac Ontiveros of Critical Resistance, a prisoner’s rights organization, believes that social media is a necessary tool for prisoners who need to connect with the outside world. ”Social media is one [method] that prisoners and family members have used in order to communicate with each other. Social media becomes a tool for prisoners to expose what’s going on inside the prisons,” he said.
In addition to social media use, the Department of Corrections has been trying to cut down on smuggled cellphones because inmates often use them to contact gangs and commit crimes while they’re in prison. They confiscated 7,000 cellphones within the first 6 months of this year.
California isn’t the first state to crack down on inmate social media use. In March, a bill was proposed in South Carolina that would prevent inmates from using social networks by banning it in prisons and fining offenders $500 as well as increasing their jail time.
HERE IS MY OPINION AND JAIL CALLS OPINION…. Do you agree?
What do you think? Should Facebook be pushed into closing anyone’s account no matter if they are an inmate or not? Where does it stop then? I think this is another way of the department of corruptions just imposing their will to a company because they cannot control the posting and status of the inmate. If the family member of an inmate changes the status and adds pictures and adds other items, how is it that corrections cares? The real truth is corrections cares because they have tons of officers that are CORRUPT and are bringing the cell phones into the facilities. They look like idiots because they cannot control their staff! The inmates are the least of the worries! The CDC has over 10,000 illegal cell phones inside their prisons!
If this is true that they confiscated over 7,000 phones already this year, then that clearly shows the “brass” cannot control the staff and they need to make giant changes. The officers are making a ton of money bringing these smart-phones into the facilities and they are allowing inmates to continue the gang activities and order people killed. This along with other illegal acts that should not be permitted are being assisted by a corrections officers daily. There is no doubt that corrections needs to have security to keep the public safe from people that are convicted of criminal acts. I am not passing judgment if they are really guilty. I am saying they are in prison and that means the CDC must follow the law and protect free people from those incarcerated.
I am saying that the department of corrections, or as I call them, the department of corruptions, needs to take action against the officers that are smuggling these phones and chargers and fire them! The law does not allow them to be arrested at the current time. But, they can go after them for tax evasion as, they are being paid for these phones and not declaring this income! that is a crime and you might notice that the District Attorney’s office will not go after them or they face losing the help of other law enforcement testimony. This along with the bad will that comes from prosecuting a corrections officer….
This is my opinion and the opinion of Jail Calls alone…. It is not the opinion of anyone else….