Thousands of California prison inmates are on Facebook while locked up

Aug 10, 2011
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Thousands of California prison inmates are on Facebook while locked up

This story is disturbing on a bunch of different levels. It's disturbing to me that prison inmates are able to get on Facebook for starters. They apparently do it on contraband mobile phones that are smuggled in. I can only assume that the phones are hidden in the same manner Captain Koons used to hide Butch's watch. Apparently, the inmates are using the phones to update their Facebook profiles, typically with mundane things.

One inmate wrote on his Facebook wall "Listenin 2 sum music tryin 2 unwind." Other inmates use Facebook for much darker things like harassing their victims while behind bars. Apparently, the contraband phones generally sell for up to $1,000 in the prison. It's also only a violation of prison rules if an employee provides a phone to a prisoner, not a crime.

That means if caught the worker can only be fired, not locked up themselves. There are laws on the books in some states preventing sexual predators from using Facebook and social networking sites, but none banning inmates from it. It sounds like there may be some new laws on the way. The state of California is asking Facebook to close the accounts of inmates.

[via NBCBayArea.com]


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