Facebook is asked to take down pages of California inmates

Aug 09, 2011 By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times

California inmates, who are getting their hands on contraband cellphones in record numbers, have been using the devices to surf the Web and update their Facebook accounts, prison officials say.

So on Monday, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation administrators announced that they have started reporting inmate pages to and that the company will take down pages that have been updated since the owners went to prison.

"Access to social media allows to circumvent our monitoring process and continue to engage in criminal activity," Corrections Department Secretary Matthew Cate said in a statement posted on the prison system's website.

It's not just inmates posting on their own social media pages that has prison administrators concerned. Some have used their contraband cellphones to troll their victims' pages and harass them from behind bars. A child molester who has been incarcerated for at least seven years recently sent up-to-date drawings of a victim to her house. He'd apparently sketched portraits of the now 17-year-old girl from photos he found on her and Facebook pages, according to Monday's statement.

In 2006, corrections officers found 261 contraband cellphones behind prison walls. They found more than 7,200 in the first six months of this year, according to the statement.

Prison employees, who unlike visitors don't get searched on the way into the facilities, have long been considered a primary source of contraband phones, which can fetch as much as $1,000 each. Currently, it is a violation of rules to smuggle a phone inside and pass it to an inmate, but it is not illegal. So a profiteering employee can be fired but not prosecuted.

A pending bill by state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, would make smuggling a phone to an inmate a crime punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Explore further: Twitter rules out Turkey office amid tax row

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study Looks at Social Structure of Prison Communities

Dec 14, 2007

In community settings, there’s always at least one person or perhaps a group of individuals who are most highly respected. Prison systems are no different; one’s social status results from interpersonal dynamics. To better ...

Study says few prisoners contract HIV

Apr 21, 2006

A study refutes the widely held perception that blames U.S. prisons for the spread of the AIDS epidemic, saying very few prisoners acquire the virus.

Facebook deletes 30 UK inmates' pages after taunts

Feb 11, 2010

(AP) -- Facebook has deleted the pages of 30 U.K. prisoners at the request of the British government, the justice minister announced Thursday, after several incidents in which inmates reportedly used the Internet to plot ...

Study finds social support key

May 01, 2009

It is not uncommon for prison inmates to experience religious conversions. Now a new University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) study, out in the April issue of the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Cr ...

Recommended for you

Twitter rules out Turkey office amid tax row

3 hours ago

Social networking company Twitter on Wednesday rejected demands from the Turkish government to open an office there, following accusations of tax evasion and a two-week ban on the service.

How does false information spread online?

6 hours ago

Last summer the World Economic Forum (WEF) invited its 1,500 council members to identify top trends facing the world, including what should be done about them. The WEF consists of 80 councils covering a wide range of issues including social media. Members come ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Unlocking secrets of new solar material

(Phys.org) —A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

New US-Spanish firm says targets rich mobile ad market

Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica and US investment giant Blackstone launched a mobile telephone advertising venture on Wednesday, challenging internet giants such as Google and Facebook in a multi-billion-dollar ...

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

(Phys.org) —Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. ...