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Prisoners and Facebook are a Questionable Mix: Social Networking and Criminals

Updated on January 20, 2018
  At best, prisoners and Facebook are a questionable mix.
At best, prisoners and Facebook are a questionable mix. | Source

Prison Crime via Social Networks like Facebook

Criminals keeping up their activity on social networks has been going on too long but we can push to stop it.

Should Criminals be Allowed Access to Social Media?

Isn't a prison system supposed to be designed to protect citizens from inmates?

Why are convicts allowed to have access to Facebook?

Is it not criminal to allow prison inmates access to victims through social media?

Aren't judgements against criminal activity supposed to imprison criminals partly to keep them from reaching their victims?

Is government responsible for protecting victims from criminal activity via social networks, or would it be better for these companies to take action and not allow it?

Do convicts' rights (and even their needs) supersede the rights of victims?

Can we question whether prisoners should be allowed to use social networking to escape their confinement?

How can we best ask and answer the questions revolving around the issues of whether criminals should have access to social media"

Criminals forfeit their freedoms.
Criminals forfeit their freedoms. | Source

This Question Should be Answered Definitively by Authorities: Should Prisoners be Permitted to use Social Networks?

Simply put, there is a significant lack of common sense at the root of the question of whether prisoners and Facebook are a questionable mix. Seeing the article from South Carolina that was in the national news early this morning caused me to consider the issues because I often think about how common sense would solve so many problems for our society.

Your voice can help solve the crime of giving criminals access to victims!
Your voice can help solve the crime of giving criminals access to victims! | Source

Before I continue I want to say, “Bravo, Rep. Gilliard. I don’t know anything about you except that you have taken a right step on this matter and I pray that your efforts are met with a success that sweeps the Carolinas and then the nation.”

Thinking about how prisoners, inmates, convicts (or, "residents" as they are called in places that prohibit hurting their feelings by calling them what they are) have limited their own freedom and, even so, how they want to blame the government, police, judges, or laws for their limited freedom had me shaking my head.

A lack of common sense has shaped our society’s perspectives on significant issues and it shows. The problems are not limited to the USA, but reporting on victims' valid concerns is limited.

In researching the topic, it was interesting to read about some of the reasons behind the proposed law as well as to read the comments from people interviewed for the initial article I read, but it was also sickening to read of that particular prisoner’s attitudes and activities.

His Facebook photo presents him as a sweet boy, but it is appalling to think that he has been able to communicate with the outside world as he has, influencing others to their detriment as well as his own.

I hope this person gets the help he needs, but I also hope that he is not allowed to do more harm to people. Common sense tells us that an intelligent criminal is the last sort of person we want influencing other people, especially young people, on sites like Facebook.

Common sense tells us that the protection of the innocent should be the priority. Common sense does answer the question of whether prisoners should have access to Facebook and other social networking sites.

Facebook Fights Crime:

Social Media Fights Crime:

Do You Say that Prisoners and Facebook are a Good Mix?

The ACLU’s position on this issue is not surprising, however, common sense tells me that they are not all-powerful. If enough people would step up and speak up by writing their representatives, both local and national ones, we the people could make a difference on this issue. We might even convince many states to take the same action that is being attempted in South Carolina.

Common sense tells us that we need to actively support legislation that protects victims of crime and prevents criminals from continuing to harm other people. It doesn’t take much effort to look around and see the ways that the innocent are left to fend for themselves while criminals are provided protections and privileges that boggle the mind. With the internet access that we have it takes even less effort to find the address of the politicians you want to write to. Why, we can even tweet them on news such as this!

It's true that we can’t always respond to issues that come up. There are just too many for us to keep up with, however, when we are aware of a chance to influence lawmakers by writing a few simple lines to promote action that would help strengthen the fabric of our society we have a responsibility to do so. The letter does not have to be long, and as a matter of fact, the shorter the better. Three to four respectful but urgent sentences could easily do the job.

Put yourself in the place of victims who have suffered because of this lack of common sense and please write a letter, send an email, or at the very least get a tweet going. The poll I've included below might be interesting, but it is the comments section that allows us to truly voice our opinions and share input effectively.

If you write a letter and then leave a comment below, that would be a valuable example to others. If you write a letter, receive a response from the legislator you contacted, and then leave a comment below that would be most effective in encouraging others to follow suit.

Thanks for giving this a read. A million thanks if you write the letter that only you can send! It's up to us to answer the question about whether prisoners and Facebook are a questionable mix. Let them know that prisoners should not have access to Facebook or any of the other social networks. After all, any one of us could be the next victim.

Students use Facebook to Fight Crime:

Should Prisoners Have Access To Social Network Sites Such As Facebook?

See results

Do You Think Prisoners Should Access Facebook or Use Cell Phones?

The issues are important to everyone because anyone can become a victim of criminal activity. Speaking up about the concerns is easy once we've been victimized, but an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.

We can make our voice heard on the matter of prison privileges for inmates and help those who have already become victims put a stop to criminals' ability to continue their crimes against society through the use of technology.

Together, our voices can call authorities and owners of social media businesses to account. We can be the motivation behind the needed change.

Social Networking Allows Criminals Access to Their Victims:

Check Out the Story of Heroes Working to Help Prisoners

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Read of actual events amid governmental neglect and public panic during the Katrina disaster. Written in the style of an exciting novel the preview on the link above promises to keep readers turning pages.

Add to this Dialogue and Speak up About Prisoners Using Social Networking Sites and Cell Phones:

Submit a Comment

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey


    Thank you for helping to highlight the issues this hub presents. This is one of those topics that will avoid if at all possible, and usually only if it reaches up and slaps us in the face. Being aware is being prepared to respond appropriately if need be or to help a loved one or friend if the are faced with such a situation. I hope that this will at least help victims know that they are not alone in their struggle. A safe and happy new year to you and yours.

  • techygran profile image

    Cynthia 3 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada


    Thanks so much for raising awareness about the skewed "rights" of criminals re Facebook and cellphones. I had not even thought about this before. I certainly have heard a lot about "pre-incarceration" activity by narcissists/sociopaths/psychopaths on FB-- they go there to get their victims as well. Thank you, too, for providing suggestions of what to do and where to go with information and concern about the situations around FB and cellphones. May God bless you and keep you safe from harm and evil, Cynthia

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey


    Knowing what the issues are can help avert continuing criminal activity so I appreciate that you highlighted this hub with your feedback. Discussing the topic isn't comfortable, but it is crucial to solving problems.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey


    Thanks much for your feedback on this hub. We don't like to think about the topic, but it's important to examine the issues. If one of us is a victim without justice, then we all are.

  • DabbleYou profile image

    DabbleYou 3 years ago

    Great argument. I think it's really unfair for victims while criminals continue their menace in prison.

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 3 years ago from Tennesee

    RTalloni, I voted up this much needed article on the subject. While I am ok with those in jail awaiting trial to have access to their own personal email accounts and their personal business sites, I feel prisoners serving time should not be allowed access to the internet, and especially those convicted of violent crimes. The potential for them to abuse such privilege is too great. Organizations like the ACLU use little common sense when it comes to the rights and protection of non-criminals. And I wish there were as many outspoken "activists" interested in protecting the rights of the rest of us as there are for criminals. Thank you much for posting on behalf of the non-criminal section of society.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

    Thank you for highlighting the 1N3 event here to help focus on ending distracted and impaired driving.

  • AmbersAngels profile image

    Am ber's Moma 5 years ago from Los Angeles Ca.

    We also did what's called 1N3 event in August to spread awareness was fortunate enough to get a little local P D support . Hope to do it each year and hope it grows. View photos here Distarcted or impaired or DUI drivers need to be less "acceptable" in our society.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey


    I hope the Walk for Amber goes a long way toward providing a good scholarship to a deserving student and that it highlights the serious issues surrounding circumstances such as your family has faced.

    Writing about how you are responding to your situation with positive action will be helpful to your and your family on a personal level, it will help others who are facing similar circumstances, and it will help highlight the issues in the legal community.

  • AmbersAngels profile image

    Am ber's Moma 5 years ago from Los Angeles Ca.

    Thank you so much. We are doing a "walk for Amber" in December to raise funds for a Scholarship in Amber's name.

    She was so very happy to b e at Otis College of Art and Design. You can learn more about it here

    You just gave me my next subject Thank You

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey


    The loss to your family is immeasurable and I hope you can all be together to remember her life as this anniversary comes and goes. As difficult as it is, be sure to talk with your children regularly about how they are feeling and about what they can do to positively go forward.

    Having this issue to work on is important, and yet there may be other causes that your family could work on together in the future, such as supporting community organizations that help needy children. It may be too difficult to even think anything else through right now, but a counselor may be able to help you start focusing on adding something like that to your lives next year.

  • AmbersAngels profile image

    Am ber's Moma 5 years ago from Los Angeles Ca.

    Thank you for your support. Cell phones a whole other subject indeed. The incustody Felon who killed my daughter has also posted photos of him in jail throwing gang signs as they say. If it were only me I would be upset but I have other children who have to be exposed to this and it doesn't help the healing. Amber leaves behind a Twin as well as older siblings.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

    I am so sorry for your loss, but I thank you for highlighting the issues surrounding your suffering in this post because doing so may help more people speak up.

    If readers will click on your AmbersAngels icon above this comment they can easily find your hub with the VIS video and the comment that contains the link to the petition.

    Again, thank you for helping to highlight the serious concerns related to prisoners having access to Facebook and cell phones.

  • AmbersAngels profile image

    Am ber's Moma 5 years ago from Los Angeles Ca.

    My daughter was killed just before Christmas 2011 her Facebook against the family's request was memorialized. I get nothing but generic emails from Fb meanwhile her killer in custody and in prison posts on Fb with NO remorse at all I started a petition to get incustody Felons OFF Fb and for Fb to have compassion for families who have suffered tragedy. If you google : Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, all Shareholders and employees of Facebook. Have a little compassion for victims and survivors of crimes. / you will find the petition. Thank You please sign and share, my family and other families don't need to be terrorized more.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey


    Bravo your common sense on the issue of cell phone use by prisoners.

    Very much appreciate that you stopped in with good input that will help keep the concerns about prisoners and social networking highlighted and the dialogue going. Giving inmates access to sites like Facebook seems incredible, yet it is a problem we face as a society.

  • wilderness profile image

    Dan Harmon 7 years ago from Boise, Idaho

    Cell phones in prisons are unacceptable for many reasons, and your hub just points out one more. There have to be simple, cheap solutions to this. Unlimited and unmonitored communication with the world must not be allowed.

    A low power jamming device. Shielding for the prison. Placing all electrical outlets high up, in very plain view of guards (no charger, no phone!).

    Thanks for the information - I believe all states should be looking into this.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks so much. I am on a rant about common sense--the lack of it that is, but we do need to think through issues and seek solutions rather than just sound off about not liking something about an issue.

    Appreciate that you came by and your kind input. It helps keep the dialogue open and that's very important!

  • profile image

    Linda Myshrall 7 years ago

    This is a GREAT hub. I appreciate your no-nonsense analysis of a modern social dilemma, and I applaud you for not just going off on a rant. I found two things (besides your thoughtful appraisal) in here that make this great: a reference to a current news article and a solution! Thumbs up on this.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks much for coming by. Comments help keep the topic highlighted and the dialogue going. Appreciate your input.

  • daffodil2010 profile image

    daffodil2010 7 years ago

    interesting subject voted up

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Jackie Lynnly:

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments. I certainly understand why so many feel the same as you. The priorities of our society have created a situation that is impossible without a drastic change in cultural thinking and behavior.

    It's rather difficult to put an end to sex crimes when a society exposes its children to what ours are exposed to in schools, malls, movies, and TV in their own homes on a daily basis. Other comments for this hub have touched on this issue.

    However, the human race is up against an enemy that is bigger than we are and without the help that God offers through His Son we will not only feel hopeless, we are hopeless. We need to seek Him with our whole hearts and minds according to His Word!

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks for your input. It's interesting to think through the pros and cons of every aspect of the issue. Appreciate that the dialogue continues for the comments have been insightful.

  • LuisGabriel2 profile image

    LuisGabriel2 7 years ago

    Great Hub. I personally think they shouldn't be allowed on facebook, because they could be locked up but they could still be doing harm behind the computer (Maybe using his friend to do wrong). But if they where under supervision I think it wont hurt anyone. That way they connect with their family...

    God Bless You

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 7 years ago from The Beautiful South

    I agree but the fact is America has over 100,000 registered sex offenders they have lost and you can bet they are there if possible and we can't know how many never found out about and then terrorists. There is no way to control it as much as I wish we good and I don't like much of what I see there now we can do nothing about. FB is about getting rich, they don't care I would bet.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    It is a whole other issue in one sense, but it is directly related to crimes that the sex offenders you mention commit. It's a big issue that our society is not willing to face with common sense. I had never thought about the issue being one that had anything to do with conservatives or liberals--I know people from both sides who think in practical, commonsensical ways, as well as people from both sides who don't.

    1 + 1 = 2 no matter how anyone feels about addition, but if we as a society of conservatives and liberals ignore the facts related to the issues we face we are not going to solve problems. The billboards you mention do provoke sex offenders that you want to keep off of social networking sites and there is no changing that fact. So, why do we put up with advertising that is inappropriate for children and provokes sex offenders?

    Perhaps one of us should write a different hub, ya? :)

    Thanks much for entering the dialogue. It's important that we the people explore solutions to problems!

  • Whole-isticDiva profile image

    Whole-isticDiva 7 years ago from NY, NY

    You know, I am by no means a conservative. But I can't stand the Victoria's Secret stores here in the city. With huge bill boards of practically naked, hot woman. Men just walk by and stare, in some sort of trance, even children can't take their eyes of them. But that's a whole other issue. :)

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    In your comment you've offered a lot that should be carefully considered.

    It would be great if registered sex offenders could be prevented from being a part of social networking sites but we live in a society that puts what amounts to pornography in grocery store checkout aisles at eye level for children sitting in the carts. If this nation were serious about protecting women or children there would be sweeping changes but there's just too much going on with advertising of every sort that indicates just the opposite. Take a thoughtful look at all the provocative displays children see the next time you visit to a mall. No one is serious about protecting society from sex offenders.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments. We need to keep the dialogue open on HP, as well as with relatives and friends in our communities.

  • Whole-isticDiva profile image

    Whole-isticDiva 7 years ago from NY, NY

    Prisoners should definitely NOT have access to FB or any other social networking site. They made their bed and now they must lay in it. Sure, there are those that were wrongfully convicted, and that is a shame, but if they were convicted under the court of law, someone(s) felt the evidence against them was enough to warrant a conviction. For people that truly were wrongfully convicted, I hope justice does prevail. When someone "screws" society and commits a crime, they should not be allowed any privileges. Our constitution protects us, but unfortunately has given prisoners a way to get more than they deserve by citing their Constitutional rights.

    Another problem is registered sex offenders having access to facebook and other sites. How can we stop that?

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment to help keep the dialogue going. We need to speak up where we can and sometimes it takes a little extra effort, but we can't let the fact that there is so much to deal with keep us from doing what we can--we have a responsibility to each other and the future!

  • Becky Puetz profile image

    Becky 7 years ago from Oklahoma

    I agree with you that a lack of common sense has shaped our society’s perspectives on significant issues and that we should actively support legislation that protects victims of crime. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of readers. So much is going on in the world right now, it's easy to forget or at least put important issues such as this on the back burner of priorities. Thanks again.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Thank you kindly. Sharing some of their experiences along with their ideas for solutions could make some great hubs! Appreciate that you came by and added to this dialogue. Let me know if you do write about this topic as I would like to link such hub(s) to this one.

  • rpalulis profile image

    rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

    Coming from a family of many correction officers I have heard a lot of stories, it appears today's prisoners have more rights that the guards themselves. Excellent topic, voted up!

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Your input is important because of your personal experience. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

    You've given us with more to think through. My first thoughts are that the no perks cell phones present problems on several levels, mainly: 1) family members often aid criminals/discourage true reform even though they may say that is what they want and 2) the actual cell phone-the "thing" itself-presents hazards in a prison. However, your point is well taken for there are families, especially children, who are suffering. My first thought is that there needs to be another way to help that problem, one that would comfort and encourage children, spouses, siblings and/or parents who truly want their loved one to change for the better, and one that would protect any progress an inmate might be making toward improvement that would result in reform. There are other options that we should decide on in lieu of options that would ultimately undermine the purposes of incarceration.

    Thanks much for helping us look at a broader scope of the situation.

  • Victoria Trix profile image

    Victoria Trix 7 years ago from The Motor City

    As someone who faithfully writes to a very dear friend who is in prison you would think I would be all for any contact from him. I'm actually on the other side. I feel that they did commit a crime and do need to pay for it. They should not be allowed the same things that we as law abiding citizens have. Should they be allowed on the internet? No way. However this also relates to cell phones. Should they be allowed cell phones that have the ability to get on the internet? No again. But there are several cell phones that do have just straight calling features with no perks. Should they be allowed these? Maybe simply because the cost of a call from a prisoner is so very high and while it will benefit the prisoner my thought is it will also benefit the families and children left behind. I’m sure with all the technology we have that these cell phones could also be limited to specific numbers so they can not be used to harass anyone. I am all for a criminal paying for his crime but keep in mind that the families are also paying.

    Really great article that gives everyone a lot to think about.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Tough? Maybe.

    However, your position is also merciful. Consequences are often the only thing that will "reform" a criminal. Feeling the effects of breaking the law is what causes people who do wrong things to change their behavior.

    And your position is also a just position. Regardless if criminals repent, it is valid that victims and society in general have a sense that the law is protecting them and making a statement to all criminals by making sure that penalties are paid.

    Bravo for your "tough" stance. We need more of your kind of thinking. Do the criminals a favor and make them want to change their behavior. Require the penalties to be paid for the sake of victims and society. Crime is out of control and we need to support efforts to curb it.

    Thanks much for stopping by and adding your input to the dialogue!

  • iSpraytan profile image

    iSpraytan 7 years ago

    I must be tough. I believe that everyone should be accountable and pay for their crime. Regardless, if they repent. A child can throw a rock @ a window and feel bad later but the parents have to give the child a punishment and have the child work until he can pay for the replacement of the window. Nowadays no one is too blame. I pay tax dollars to have criminals go to jail and that should not include paying for internet and having them go on a social network? They shouldn't have tv's nor radio's or even be allowed to smoke cigarrettes in my opinion. These are consequences for their actions.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Bail Up ! :

    Thanks much for adding your comments to this dialogue. Can you notify Facebook when you come across those prisoner profiles? The article states that Facebook takes down profiles that should not be there.

    I hope Rep. Gilliard will receive letters of support and that other Representatives across the nation will receive requests that the same action be taken in their states. We need to talk this up with friends and neighbors.

    I'm thinking of making a hard copy of a sample letter to share with friends to serve as a reminder once they walk away from their computer and to make it easy for them to write their letter.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey


    I am so sorry you had to go through that experience but I very much appreciate your voice of experience speaking up here. Thank you for allowing your circumstances to add to this dialogue and help keep the topic highlighted.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Poor Conservative:

    Thanks for coming by, especially for your comment, "They're locked up for a reason." They have chosen to deny themselves the freedom to communicate freely. In defending their right to do so the ACLU harms the rest of us.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey


    It is a wonderful thing when criminals allow the process they go through in our legal system work to help them make turn from wrong choices and learn to make right choices. It is a very sad thing when wrong behavior continues. It is obvious that the particular criminal in this news article is continuing to do what he knows is wrong. His victims are not the only ones who will suffer for it if he is allowed to continue. And that is just one of the criminals abusing "privileges."

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Your input via this comment section is important to the dialogue.

  • Bail Up ! profile image

    Bail Up ! 7 years ago

    You know I have seen FB profiles of prisoners and wondered how on earth they were allowed to log on. My first thought was that some correctional institutions were more permissive than others but the smuggled phones did not occur to me. I really think it is a dangerous thing, kudos to Rep Gilliard for recognizing it and trying to do something about it.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    This is a very important hub and something I had not considered. I absolutely do not think prisoners should have access to Facebook. I was a victim of abuse and stalking but the person didn't end up in prison. I would hate the thought that he could find me through Facebook. The ACLU actions never surprised me.

  • poorconservative1 profile image

    poorconservative1 7 years ago

    I'm so glad you posted this Hub. I'm so sick of hearing how bad life is for convicts. They're locked up for a reason. One of the biggest problems we have is all the liberal judges and lawyers that we have in our system. BTW, the ACLU is anything but civil.



  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Many inmates realize that they made this great mistake and repent. Others continue to be a menace and abuse every privilege. It is sad for all especially the victims.

    Great Hub with lots to think on.


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