Inmates on Facebook? Active profiles of California prisoners getting yanked
This inmate has been active on Facebook while in prison, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says.
August 10th, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Inmates on Facebook? Active profiles of California prisoners getting yanked

The state of California and Facebook are working together to help keep prisoners off Facebook for the safety of crime victims and to stop inmates from engaging in additional criminal activity, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Facebook has agreed to yank profiles that are updated while users are in prison, though those created before the prisoners were locked up can stay online.

The decision to step up efforts to remove profiles set up on behalf of inmates, or to keep prisoners from using the site on illegal cell phones, intends to try and curb inmates' ability to keep committing crimes and protect those who helped put them there, according to the department.

“Access to social media allows inmates to circumvent our monitoring process and continue to engage in criminal activity,” California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 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.”

The corrections department cited the case of a mother who received mail from a convicted sex offender with drawings and sketches of her 17-year-old daughter, the offender's victim. The prisoner, according to the department, had used an illegal cell phone to go on MySpace and Facebook to see current photos of the teen. Using those photos, he reportedly made the drawings with precise detail, including her hairstyle and clothes.

The increased use of contraband has compounded the problem, the department said, especially that of illegal cell phones. It said that in 2006, 261 phones were confiscated inside state prisons, compared with 7,284 in the first six months of 2011 alone.
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Anomic Office Drone

    I'm not one who thinks prisons should be like dungeons but allowing criminals to use computers that are connected to the internet is wildly irresponsible. Even if you are going to let them go online, it's very easy to block sites like Facebook. This is disgraceful. I hope the governor remember this next time those prison guard thugs come asking for more billions.

    August 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • malasangre

      they are using illegal cell phones that could only be smuggled by a guard. if was one or two but heck charlie freakin manson just got caught with one. you could pay em 200,000 G a year they would still do it. nobodys giving prisoners access

      August 11, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • red

      It is painfully obvious that niether Anomic Office Drone nor malasangre now much about prisons.


      they are using illegal cell phones that could only be smuggled by a guard. if was one or two but heck charlie freakin manson just got caught with one. you could pay em 200,000 G a year they would still do it. nobodys giving prisoners access

      there are many many ways to get contraband introduced into a correctional facility
      NATGEO just had a show on this very subject and they caught in the act on camera a subject throwing a package over a fence

      August 11, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • ReformNotCondem

      I like that coment for the most part our Justice (or InJustice) system creates harder criminals than went in. We need reform in the system and in the people committed to the prisons. The Guards are just as manipulative if not more than the "criminals". They are very aware of the system and how to take advantage of lthe loopholes( doesn't help that the primary outlook there resembles @hools)
      Remember 20% or better of the inmate population are actually inocent, and even more were given longer sentences than others with similar crimes due to court appointed fake lawyers. This system is more corrupt than our state and local legislatures.... come on we need to start creating a brighter future.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • LisaDe

      I agree and I don't buy this BS about the smuggled in cell phones either. If the prison wardens and guards did not want cell phones getting the prisoners they wouldn't get to prisoners. The only way cell phones get to prisoners in prison is because the prison system is letting them, like in "corruption". Everybody knows if you have enough money and are in prison you can pretty much get whatever you want and the only way that happens is wardens and guards.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • robin

      looking for my brother rodney smith i found out that he is in the sanora califonia jail we are trying to find out if he has or can have facebbok or a calling card ,its ben almost 22 years since we spoke his mother is not in good helth,thank u

      June 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mbdt

    Great job at blurring the name. I can't make it out at all!

    August 10, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan Peters

      I have come across a few prisoners on FB and was very surprised that they had FB pages. I tried to report them but to no avail. I don't think that anyone in prison should have the luxury of a cellphone or a FB page!

      August 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gort01

    WOW....YA THINK....way to jump on this Facebook.....

    August 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. michell

    They do that on MOCOSPACE TOO there are prisoner trying to holla at females on there and tell them that they will take care of them when they get out at the end of the yr i had to report the guy that was trying t. Talk to me he got 5 more yrs added on to his time. For the cell phone and Social site page. Im glad.

    August 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Natalie

    I have a question. What is jail? I always thought that it was a place where people who broke the law, went and received punishment. If an inmate gets sick by law they are suppose to be treated right? Who pays for this? Do they get cable tv or just a regular antenna tv, that no longer exists. Inmates have access to a gym right, how come I have to pay $45/month. How is it that they are allowed to have a facebook account, they have internet access in jail? Doesn't sound like it is too bad to be in jail. FREE food(even if it tastes bad), health insurance, cable tv, gym, and now facebook.

    August 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ImpishLisa

      I'm guessing some folks in jail want to be there. Same with prison.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karleen

      Prison is to rehabilitate criminals, hence all the recreation. Can you imagine if there was no form of rehabilitation in prison? Inmates would go crazy and prison would get ran down.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      @ Natalie . . as the girlfriend of a man who was just released from prison, you have no idea what you're talking about. Not all inmates get privileges like that and they are just that, PRIVILEGES. You try spending a month in a cell with only your cable TV for company, and listen to people screaming all nite, no air conditioning, asking permission to go to the bathroom and watching your back every single minute in case someone is coming up behind you with a shank. They do not all have access to a gym either, again, that is a PRIVILEGE. My boyfriend worked out in his cell for 6 months, no gym privileges at some of the prisons at all. If you read the article before you shot your mouth off you'd see no one is ALLOWING them Facebook, they are getting onto it via smuggled cell phones. And FYI . . . after a year of visiting various prisons, I can tell you there was no way I could have smuggled in a toothpick let alone a cell phone . . .

      August 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Karleen

    Yes, the prison system needs reform.

    August 15, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. robin

    i think they should get atleased a 5 min call for there family once a month,ust saying

    June 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
1 2