Facebook has policies in place to thwart inmates who use their system to harass, threaten or make unwanted sexual advances.
“Access to social media allows inmates to circumvent our monitoring process and continue to engage in criminal activity,” said former Secretary of Corrections Matthew Cate. “This new cooperation between law enforcement and Facebook will help protect the community and potentially avoid future victims.”
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), said that previously it was made aware that a convicted child molester had sent mail to his 17-year-old victim. This mail included current sketches of the girl although the offender had been in prison for seven years, according to an article by CNET News.
“Details of the victim, such as how she wore her hair and the brand of clothes she wore were accurate,” said CDCR.
CDCR’s investigation found that the inmate had a cell phone that he had used view the girl on Myspace and Facebook web pages. The offender then used this access to draw his pictures
As a result of this crime, Facebook’s security team is working with CDCR to prevent inmates from using their “user accounts” to threaten or harrass.
An inmate can have or
possess an account that was created prior to their incarceration. However, Facebook user policy prohibits users from sharing their password so that others can create posts on that account.
“If a state has decided that prisoners have forfeited their right to use the Internet, the most effective way to prevent access is to ensure prisons have the resources to keep smart phones and other devices out,” said Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes. “We will disable accounts reported to us that are violating relevant U.S. laws or regulations or inmate accounts that are updated by someone on the outside. We will also take appropriate actions against anyone who misuses Facebook to threaten or harass.”