Although they are locked up and not suppose to be allowed to have access to cell phones with internet or the internet at all, inmates across the United States are using social networks to harass their victims. There are a growing number of smartphone being smuggled into jails and prisons. The prisoner’s using these smuggled in phones to intimidate witnesses and harass their accusers or victims.
In California, correction officers who are monitoring these social networking sites say they have many different instances in which inmates have made unwanted sexual advances or taunted their victims. It is often difficult for the authorities to determine who for sure is sending out these types of messages. The people who are caught doing this very rarely face any type of serious consequences.
California is home to the nation’s largest population of inmates and in just ten months, the correctional officers have confiscated almost thirteen thousand phones. Six years ago that number was only two hundred and sixty one phones. Because of the increase in number of phones being confiscated, the legislators of California have approved a law that will bring up to 6 months in jail for visitors or correction officers who are caught smuggling any mobile device into state prisons. Inmates caught with smuggled phones can lose up to one hundred eighty days of early release credit but no additional time is added.
In California, Facebook and prison officials are working together to identify accounts from inmates and have them taken down.