Inmates harass victims via Facebook

Nov 21 2011 - 8:29am

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(RICH PEDRONCELLI/The Associated Press) In this photo taken Nov. 4, 2011, Karen Carrisosa is seen with a photo of her and her husband Larry, at the site where he was killed in Sacramento, Calif. Carrisosa became concerned when officials found a Facebook posting from Corcoran State Prison inmate Fredrick Garner who is serving a 22-year, involuntary manslaughter sentence for killing Larry 11 years ago. Carrisosa is a victim of a disturbing trend: Inmates who use smuggled mobile devices or work through third parties to access social networking sites giving them the ability to harass their victims and victim’s families.
(RICH PEDRONCELLI/The Associated Press) In this photo taken Nov. 4, 2011, Karen Carrisosa is seen with a photo of her and her husband Larry, at the site where he was killed in Sacramento, Calif. Carrisosa became concerned when officials found a Facebook posting from Corcoran State Prison inmate Fredrick Garner who is serving a 22-year, involuntary manslaughter sentence for killing Larry 11 years ago. Carrisosa is a victim of a disturbing trend: Inmates who use smuggled mobile devices or work through third parties to access social networking sites giving them the ability to harass their victims and victim’s families.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Authorities say inmates are using social networks and the growing numbers of smartphones smuggled into prisons and jails to harass their victims or accusers and intimidate witnesses.

California corrections officials who monitor social networking sites say they have found many instances in which inmates taunted victims or made unwanted sexual advances.

It's often difficult for authorities to determine for sure who's sending the threatening material -- and the few people caught rarely face serious consequences.

California approved a law bringing up to six months in jail for corrections employees or visitors who smuggle phones into state prisons, while inmates caught with the phones can now lose up to 180 days of early-release credit.

Last June, Oregon approved a law prohibiting inmates from contacting their domestic violence victims from behind bars.

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