No more Facebook for California inmates
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- No more "friending" for California's prison inmates. The Department of Corrections is cracking down on prisoners using social networks from their cells, and Facebook is planning to help remove those accounts. Crime victims are applauding the change.
"We're very excited Facebook is starting to remove these pages," said Katie James with the California Department of Corrections.
Countless numbers of California inmates are actively updating their Facebook account from their cells behind bars using smartphones that have been smuggled into prisons. They're posting pictures in front of their bunks and talking about time in the yard. But the activities aren't always mundane -- the state says they're sometimes plotting crimes with each other in code on social media. One child molester even contacted his victim who's now 17.
"We found that he was accessing her Facebook site, her photos, and he was pretty much monitoring her life, and was able to know what she looked like even this many years later," said James.
Facebook is now working with the corrections department and other law enforcement across the country to disable the accounts of inmates who are actively posting while incarcerated, even if it's updated by a family member on the outside.
Prisoners' rights groups say that's not fair because inmates need to stay connected with family or tell media about the conditions inside.
"Social media is one way that prisoners and family members have used in order to communicate with each other," said Isaac Ontiveros with Critical Resistance. "Social media becomes a tool for prisoners to expose what's going on inside the prisons."
Victims' rights groups applaud the move. They say prisoners are still able to use pay phones and write letters and that access to technology means they're up to no good.
Corrections has been trying to get a grip of the proliferation of cell phones in prison -- more than 7,000 have been confiscated in the first six months of this year alone.
"This is like organized crime," said Harriet Salarno with Crime Victims United. "They can get in touch with gangs, they can commit crimes from prison. We need to stop all this."
prison, facebook, social media, california news, nannette miranda
- Bay Area man survives avalanche on Mount Everest
- San Francisco officer injured in crash after pursuit
- Confirmed death toll in ferry disaster climbs to 36
- Strong earthquake strikes off Papua New Guinea
- Crews search for person after boat accident in Brentwood 44 min ago
- 2 men injured in separate shootings in East Oakland 57 min ago
- CHP officer struck by hit-and-run driver on Highway 101
- Brother of man killed by drunk driver throws first pitch 18 min ago
- Young Oakland woman dies at Coachella music fest
- Woman travels to Vegas to celebrate 103rd birthday
- Hundreds paddle out for surf icon Hobie Alter 21 min ago
- Sacramento Co. sheriff seeks surveillance footage
- Minimalists find happiness living with less
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Saturday