Facebook to yank prison inmates' pages
California prison inmates will no longer be able to set up Facebook accounts / California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Prison inmates in California found to have updated their Facebook profiles will lose their pages as part of a new policy designed to crack down against criminal abuse of social networks.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said it will turn over to Facebook account information it gathers on prison inmates who have updated their pages since being put behind bars. Facebook will then wipe out their pages for violating the company's user policies.
"Access to social media allows inmates to circumvent our monitoring process and continue to engage in criminal activity," CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said in a statement. "This new cooperation between law enforcement and Facebook will help protect the community and potentially avoid future victims."
Although it's not illegal for inmates to keep Facebook profiles which were created prior to incarceration, they are prohibited from updating them while on the inside. However, California prison authorities say there is ample evidence of inmates who maintain active Facebook accounts - either from inside jail or with the help of someone on the outside working on the prisoner's behalf.
The CDCR said that in many cases, prisoners have used their Facebook profiles either to deliver threats or to make sexual advances. In one instance, it related how a convicted child molester had sent several pieces of mail to a women's 17-year-old daughter, containing accurate drawings even though he had been behind bars for seven years. "Details of the victim, such as how she wore her hair and the brand of clothes she wore were accurate. An investigation revealed the inmate had used a cell phone to find and view the MySpace and Facebook web pages of the victim. With access to the pages, the offender was able to obtain current photos, which he used to draw his pictures," the CDCR said.
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