Friday, February 11, 2011

Facebook in prison

Prison is a bad place and now it might begin to get even worse.

Prisoners in the state of South Carolina caught updating their Facebook page may face a $500 fine plus 30 additional days behind bars.

Charleston Democrat, Representative Wendell Gilliard has proposed a bill that would make it illegal for any  inmate to have a account on any social-networking site.  

Prisoners can often update their page on a banned cell phone, which can be tossed over the  prison fence to them. Being caught with one of these cell phones can earn solitary confinement and loss of visitation and canteen privileges.  

The bill has been co-sponsored by 12 other state legislators.

The bill doesn’t seem to have much to do with removing the rights of the convicted but rather securing the rights of their victims.

A local newspaper, earlier this month, featured details about certain incarcerated  Facebook members such as Anthony "Tony" Enriquez, 34.

Enriquez is serving a life sentence without parole for murder. The newspaper quoted a friend of the victim who was shocked to see his friend’s killer on Facebook.

"The goal of the bill is to stop the inside from coming out. Victims have rights, too,” said Rep. Gilliard. 

If prisoners have access to social-networking sites they can publish information that can lead to more danger of innocent lives. Also turmoil to their victims or victims’ families.  

We now live in a world where so much communication can take place from a computer, cell phone, or even MP3 player. This bill seems necessary to stop criminals from communicating in this way.