Facebook takes down California inmate accounts

August 9, 2011

Inmates with unauthorized access to cell phones have been posting Facebook pages from inside California prisons, as well as trolling victims’ pages and harassing them, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

As a result, prison authorities have begun reporting inmate Facebook accounts to the social media’s security department, which will remove the accounts.

“Access to social media allows inmates to circumvent our monitoring process and continue to engage in criminal activity,” CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said. “This new cooperation between law enforcement and Facebook will help protect the community and potentially avoid future victims.”

The numbers of inmate accounts have been increasing, illegally maintained by an inmate or by someone on the outside.

Many of these accounts, CDCR reports, have been used to make threats to victims or make sexual advances.

Last year, a child molester used a cell phone to find the MySpace and Facebook pages of his victim, according to CDCR, which received a call from the victim’s mother.

The family had been on vacation and found several pieces of mail from the molester, who was still confined in a state prison, when they returned home. The mail contained several accurate drawings of the 17-year-old daughter. It had been seven years since the offender had been convicted and sent to prison.

The prison artist rendered accurately the style of his victim’s hair and clothes, leading investigators to the discovery that he had used the cell phone to access her pages and download her photographs.

CDCR has seen a massive influx in the number of cell phones being used by prisoners. In 2006, correctional officers confiscated 261 devices, while in the first six months of this year, more than 7,284 were confiscated.

Prison employees, who don’t get searched on the way into work, have long been considered the primary source for illegal phones, which can fetch as much as $1,000 each, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Currently, it is a violation of prison rules to smuggle a phone inside and pass it to an inmate, but it is not illegal. So a profiteering employee can be fired but not prosecuted.

A pending bill by state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) would make smuggling a phone to an inmate a crime punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to six months in jail.



  1. smartmouth says:

    I am reminded of the recent CMC article . . .

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  2. Bob says:

    We need a law that makes the possession, use, sale or transfer of a unauthorized cell phone, electronic or communications device on prison or jail property a felony to include any inmate, officer, staff or visitor.

    Just as some business have prohibited unauthorized devices on company property by employees and visitors. There is no sound reason why they cannot be prohibited on prison or jail grounds by anyone.

    (14) 14 Total Votes - 14 up - 0 down
  3. easymoney says:

    I’ll bet Sheriff Joe Arpaio doesn’t have a problem like this.
    If inmates had to spend the majority of their incarceration doing something productive with their hands, they would not have the time to waste on facebook or lifting weights. They owe a debt to society and it should be extracted in the form of work…

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
    • zaphod says:

      He has problems of his own.

      (-2) 10 Total Votes - 4 up - 6 down
      • Side_Show_Bob says:


        Oooooo….they even played scary music at the end of that clip further proving Joe Arpaio is up to no good! LOL!!

        What a joke! A bunch of Arizona liberals are pissed off that Sheriff Joe is doing his job enforcing the laws of the land. Busting dirtbag illegal aliens. Making criminals do time in a less than hotel-like environment. I’d bet the officials he has been questioning have a house full of illegal servants.

        (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          How about $100million in misused funds over 5 years? How would you like to be the taxpayers paying for Arpaio’s little spending sprees?



          Mb>Misuse of funds
          An analysis by the Maricopa County Office of Management and Budget, completed in September, 2010, found Arpaio has misspent almost $100 million in taxpayer dollars over the previous 5 years.[77][78]
          The analysis showed that money from a restricted detention fund which could only legally be used to pay for jail items, such as food, detention officers’ salaries and equipment, was used to pay employees to patrol Maricopa County.[77] The analysis also showed that many Sheriff’s Office employees, whose salaries were paid from the restricted detention fund, were working job assignments different than those recorded in their personnel records. Arpaio’s office kept a separate set of personnel books detailing actual work assignments, different than information kept on the county’s official human-resources records.[78]
          Arpaio used the detention fund to pay for investigations of political rivals, and activities involving his human-smuggling unit.[77][78]
          The analysis also showed a number of inappropriate spending items, including a trip to Alaska where deputies stayed at a fishing resort, and trips to Disneyland.[78][79]
          Separate investigations by The Arizona Republic uncovered widespread abuse of public funds and county policies by Arpaio’s office, including high-ranking employees routinely charging expensive meals and stays at luxury hotels on their county credit cards.[80]
          The Republic also found that a restricted jail enhancement fund was improperly used to pay for out-of-state training, a staff party at a local amusement park, and a $456,000 bus, which was purchased by Arpaio in violation of county procurement rules.[77][81]

          ^ a b c d Wingett, Yvonne. “Joe Arpaio’s office misspent funds, analysis says”. Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
          ^ a b c d Wingett, Yvonne. “Joe Arpaio’s office misused up to $80 million, Maricopa County says”. Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
          ^ Sarah BudusonReporter, KPHO.com (2007-06-28). “Maricopa Officials: Arpaio’s Spending Illegal – Phoenix News Story – KPHO Phoenix”. Kpho.com. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
          ^ Wingett, Yvonne (2010-08-08). “Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spent loosely”. Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2010-09-23.”


          (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
        • Cindy says:

          Side_Show, I anticipated watching this video and walking away with an opinion similar to yours, “Joe Arpaio is up to no good! LOL!!” Generally I would be inclined to give Arpaio the benefit of the doubt. I’ve thought he was a poster child depicting the essence of what a sheriff should be since day one, but to my current surprise and disappointment, I simply can’t afford him a vote of confidence, not even close, not at this time.

          (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
          • danika says:

            I find it alarming how much money has been spent by Arpaio’s frivilous investigations and those persons who had to fight back with legal recourse. No matter how thin you make a pancake, it always has 2 sides; however, Arpaio’s side looks very blackened. Makes me raise an eyebrow, shake my head in disgust and think the guy is too big for his britches.

            (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
      • Cindy says:

        I find this news segment that zaphod posted extremely ALARMING. I’ve always been amused by Arpaio’s jail house mythology and although some of his tactics appeared a bit eccentric at times, I could appreciate the humor behind his tough on crime attitude. His approach worked for my way of thinking.

        HOWEVER…I’m currently suspicious that his perception of absolute power has engendered him. The reporter with the tape recorder, the show of force at the library looking for illegal janitors (which we saw for ourselves) combined with the claims of so many high ranking officials is compelling. He can be voted out of office or the citizens (if they have the courage) can recall him but he needs to be removed so that a thorough investigation can proceed void of hindrances. It would appear that his has stepped WAY OVER the line and he is now a public menace rather than a protector.

        What a drag.

        (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
        • zaphod says:

          He is a lowercase nazi, sorry, but his real history speaks if you bother to read it.

          (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • zaphod says:

      The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America ? Joe Arpatio hates it hates the very idea of it , corrupt since his initiation in and retirement from Richard Nixon’s DEA.
      a full participant in the hollowing out and scraping anything of value from a once promising representative democracy

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down

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