South Carolina Lawmakers Take Facebook Away From Prisoners

March 21, 2011  |  

By J. Smith

Well, Facebook stalking used to be fun. Now it’s just scary and dangerous as prisoners with access to contraband cell phones are using them to update their statuses and communicate with people on the outside.

South Carolina is considering becoming the first state to criminalize inmates who use Facebook while in jail; friends and family on the outside who set up accounts for them could be punished as well. Thirty more days would be added to a prisoner’s sentence in addition to a $500 fine if her or she is caught social networking.

Critics argue that this would violate inmates’ free speech rights, although I was unaware inmates still had rights. That is not snark, I genuinely did not know. Is the right to vote the only right taken away from prisoners? Supporters of the bill said crime victims shouldn’t have to worry about seeing or being threatened by priosoner’s online, The Huffington Post reported.

A similar bill was proposed and successfully defeated by the American Civil Liberties Union in Arizona in 2003, before the number of illegal cell phones in prisons spiked. However, the law eventually passed after a murder victim’s family rightly complained about an ad posted on the Internet that solicited pen pals for the inmate, says the Post.

That is where I tend to agree. The opportunity for stalking, terrorizing and simply reminding victims of the often horrific experience with a certain inmate should be stopped.

Read more: Facebook In Prison? South Carolina Bill Aims To Cut Connection

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