It was bad enough when we learned in December that mass murderer and renowned psychopath Charles Manson was sending texts to folks outside prison walls using a flip phone that he kept hidden under his mattress. Now comes word that California inmates may be friending your kids on Facebook.
Officials at the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced this week that they've made an arrangement with the popular social-media site to take down pages belonging to inmates that have been updated since the owners went to prison. It seems that convicts are using contraband cellphones with Web browsers to harass their victims or issue threats on Facebook. Prisoners who set up Facebook accounts before being convicted are allowed to keep them, but if they're updated while the inmate is still doing time, the company has agreed to take action.
That's nice. But what's to stop inmates from jumping to Google+ or Twitter? The problem doesn't lie with the myriad websites where prisoners can go to plot violent crimes, conduct drug deals, order gang actions, plan escapes or engage in other mischief; it's within the prisons themselves. More than 10,000 contraband cellphones were confiscated in California prisons last year, up from 1,400 in 2007.