S.C. Proposal Targets Prisoners’ Facebook Use by Meg Kinnard

Posted: March 27, 2011 in News and politics

 

 

COLUMBIA, S.C. | Islam Dunn updates his Facebook page with a phone like so many other 19-year-olds, only he must hide the device so the prison guards don’t notice.

The proliferation of cell phones that are 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 a prisoner’s sentence if he is 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, said 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.

“We now know that the criminals behind bars are using this as a method of intimidation. People’s lives are threatened. They’re sending out coded messages through social networking,” Gilliard said. “How can we as a society stand by and do nothing?”

Tarangie Tyler’s family was terrorized nearly two years ago by Dunn and a group of men who were trying to rob their home. Her 34-year-old husband, Jerry, was shot to death in the attack after four men, including Dunn, kicked in the door of their home.

Tyler moved her five children to a safer neighborhood, but now fears they could be intimidated by simply logging on to the computer that sits on their kitchen counter.

“To hear that one of them has a Facebook, it’s scary,” said Tyler, 35. “I don’t think they should have Facebook, because of the crime that they did. ※ If they want to communicate, that’s what a pencil and paper are for.”

Prisoners are free to exchange letters with people on the outside, but their mail is monitored. Inmates in federal prison and a handful of other jurisdictions also have limited access to e-mail, and typically can only send it to people who have previously agreed to it.

Yet smart phones provide easy access to social networking sites, and it’s difficult for corrections officials to keep up. Some inmate pages are obvious, with photos of themselves in prison. Others are set up and run by relatives or friends.

This story appeared in print on page A4

Comments
  1. I am for lawyers closing banks. The “Wall Street Financial Crisis: anatomy of a financial collapse” is proof of what I have seen with by my own experience and the experience of multiple family members, customers, and friends,that have tried to work with the banks, finding the banks used HAMP to drag us into foreclosure instead of help us save our homes caused by our incomes being reduced to half to 90%by the willful reckless, corrupt actions of the banksters. Most of us hardworking Americans that would never have believed we would ever be in this financial mess. All of us having the banks tell us we would not qualify for a modification loan unless we defaulted first, to find this is not true, now that we have been able to read the HAMP agreements. I had three different service’s tell me to default inorder to qualify, before I would do it. The bank was telling me to do it and three different people telling me this is the only way I would qualify. I believe the banks wanted the insurance money for the defaults. Once they had us in default they could add up the late fees and charges they could take form the so called lenders, once they foreclosed and they had incentive to foreclose for more profits. The servicer used the HAMP money to claim they were reviewing mod applications, and denied the mod, claiming all the paperwork did not show up. The servicer would give only a first name and a fake contact number that you would never get a reply. I could never reach the person I took the name and number for contact from. I unfortunately believed I had been approved for a modification loan. I was told I was approved and to begin making modification payments after ten months of reapplying over and over.I believe the serviciers used this tactic to gain a thousand dollars for each time they claimed they were reviewing a modification loan, to make six thousand to ten thousand
    a person and pay back the TARP money with the HAMP money. THen drag us by false pretence into default to gain profit for late fees etc, and for close after they made the insurance money, and make more money on the sale of the house and our lost equity, by purchasing the houses from themselves for nothing, or next to nothing, quiet titileign the house to hide the fruad loans and false assignments, by pretender owners. THe banksters and their ROBO signers need to go to jail … They have turned the backs on the American families and the American way of life. We have been forsaken.. kHeyt6OBGB need

    • Banksters need to go to jail! I am for lawyers closing banks. And putting the criminal bankster in jail . The “Wall Street Financial Crisis: anatomy of a financial collapse” is proof of what I have seen with by my own experience and the experience of multiple family members, customers, and friends,that have tried to work with the banks, finding the banks used HAMP to drag us into foreclosure instead of help us save our homes caused by our incomes being reduced to half to 90%by the willful reckless, corrupt actions of the banksters. Most of us hardworking Americans that would never have believed we would ever be in this financial mess. All of us having the banks tell us we would not qualify for a modification loan unless we defaulted first, to find this is not true, now that we have been able to read the HAMP agreements. I had three different service’s tell me to default inorder to qualify, before I would do it. The bank was telling me to do it and three different people telling me this is the only way I would qualify. I believe the banks wanted the insurance money for the defaults. Once they had us in default they could add up the late fees and charges they could take form the so called lenders, once they foreclosed and they had incentive to foreclose for more profits. The servicer used the HAMP money to claim they were reviewing mod applications, and denied the mod, claiming all the paperwork did not show up. The servicer would give only a first name and a fake contact number that you would never get a reply. I could never reach the person I took the name and number for contact from. I unfortunately believed I had been approved for a modification loan. I was told I was approved and to begin making modification payments after ten months of reapplying over and over.I believe the serviciers used this tactic to gain a thousand dollars for each time they claimed they were reviewing a modification loan, to make six thousand to ten thousand
      a person and pay back the TARP money with the HAMP money. THen drag us by false pretence into default to gain profit for late fees etc, and for close after they made the insurance money, and make more money on the sale of the house and our lost equity, by purchasing the houses from themselves for nothing, or next to nothing, quiet titileign the house to hide the fruad loans and false assignments, by pretender owners. The banksters and their ROBO signers need to go to jail … They have turned their backs on the American families and the American way of life. We have been forsaken.. kHeyt6OBGB need

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