crimesider

Inmates who use Facebook could serve extra time in South Carolina

AP Graphic
Facebook may mean more jail time for S.C. inmates
AP Photo, file

(CBS/AP) COLUMBIA, S.C. - The proliferation of cell phones smuggled into prisons has some inmates routinely updating their status from the inside, and South Carolina is considering becoming the first state to make that a crime.

The measure would add 30 days to the sentence of any prisoner  caught interacting on social networking sites via cell phone.

The bill goes a step further, too, making it illegal for anyone to set up a page for a prisoner, which legal experts say violates inmates' free speech rights even if they are using contraband cell phones.

Rep. Wendell Gilliard, a Democrat from Charleston who proposed the law, says crime victims shouldn't have to worry about seeing or being threatened by a prisoner online.

There's also a fear convicts are coordinating criminal activity.