South Carolina Goes After Facebooking Prisoners

Would tack 30 days on to the sentence of those found updating their status, etc.
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2011 3:09 PM CDT
South Carolina Goes After Facebooking Prisoners
Islam Dunn’s Facebook page is seen. Dunn is a prisoner in South Carolina who is serving 20 years for attempted armed robbery nearly two years ago.   (AP Photo)

It doesn't seem too hard to get access to a cellphone in prisons these days (see here and here)—and, by extension, update one's Facebook status. And South Carolina has had enough. The state is hoping to be the first in the nation to make in-prison status updates a crime. The proposed law would add 30 days to a prisoner's sentence and fine him $500 if he is caught interacting on social networking sites via cellphone. And the bill doesn't stop there: It also makes it illegal for anyone to set up a page for a prisoner, which the ACLU takes issue with.

The Democrat 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. The AP reports on one 19-year-old serving a 20-year sentence for attempted arm robbery: "All i want is my life bac," Islam Dunn updated Jan. 29 from Facebook's mobile web application. In an update on his birthday, Dunn said: "got SO high." A few weeks later he wrote: "its really hard 2 find luv n" (More South Carolina stories.)

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