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Facebook Ban For South Carolina Inmates: Gilliard

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Rep. Wendell Gilliard (D), from South Carolina is out to stop inmates from using Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace.

Gilliard says, “This bill would be the first bill of such in the whole country that would be a crime for any inmate while in prison to set up social media as a means of communications. If a person gets caught, he or she would have a lot of time added to what they’ve been given. It also carries a fine,”.

It’s the issue of inmates using smuggled smartphones inside the prisons that is of concern as also victim’s families and the victims themselves have complained that the inmates are using social networking sites to stalk, harass and threaten them.

“Stalkers, batterers, gang members live to intimidate, harass and terrorize their victim, that’s what they do,” adds Veronica Swain Kunz, the CEO of the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network. Kunz also says, “Anybody on Facebook can reach out and send a message to anybody that they want to, and it could be be a really terrorizing thing for them.”.

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Gilliard added, “It will send a message to our youth, crime doesn’t pay,”, and, “We have to get back to reforming people, we have not done that. We have given them an outfit where they feel comfortable.”.

The bill would also make it a misdemeanor for families and friends of prisoners who set up social networking for the prisoners.

The ACLU says the bill is a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech established in the Constitution.

So far the Republican leadership in the state of South Carolina State House supports the bill and Gilliard hopes that the bill will come up for a vote as early as next week.

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