Retired corrections officer aims to shut down inmate Facebook pr - KCTV5

Retired corrections officer aims to shut down inmate Facebook profiles

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CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Inmates wanting to friend you on Facebook?After we posted about this story on Facebook today, many of our Facebookfollowers posted about profiles from prison too.

WTOC spoke to a retired corrections officerwho has been spending a lot of time on Facebook lately, weeding out inmatesonline.

He's made it his mission to find and reportinmates on Facebook. Some of them are so brazen, they are posing with weaponsfrom behind bars.

He called it a clear and present danger, notonly to other inmates, but prison staff, too. He said Facebook was a right theylost when they were convicted of their crimes.

"They are in grave danger, and there isno other way to say it but grave danger," Joe told WTOC.

Joe retired as a corrections officer inGeorgia and Pennsylvania five years ago. After 16 years on the job, with timeincluding military time and inside state prisons, he'd seen it all. Or, so hethought.

"It's disturbing, and it's not just thesame profile of muliple pictures. It's different people," he said.

Recently, Joe's Facebook suggested a few newfriends who happened to be inmates inside what he believed are Georgia stateprisons, just based on the clothes and surroundings and the profiles.

"If you are really looking, you canprobably find 20 to 30 on a daily basis. Go into their friends list and youwill find another 10 they are associated with," Joe said.

Joe wonders where searches are forcontraband and phones.

"A cell phone in prison is almost equivalentto a Swiss army knife. They can use it for anything possible, plan an escape.Get on Google, get an aerial view of the prison, coordinate a riot. It's justas well giving a Motorola radio like the officers have walking around. Anofficer doesn't even have that kind of flexibility," he said.

As he becomes more vigilant hunting downprison profiles, he's seeing a startling change in attitude.

"They are getting more brave, beingoutside, where an officer should be present with Constantine wire in thebackground and towers. What are these tower officers doing? Turning their head?Sleeping? They are being recorded, but nobody is reviewing these tapes,"Joe said.

"This isn't just a Georgia problem.This is nationwide. Prisoners shouldn't be on there at all. It is scary. itliterally is scary. It's wrong," he said.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons said in thepast they report inmate Facebook profiles to Facebook and have them removed.The Georgia Department of Corrections does the same thing and wants Facebookusers to report inmate profiles to them. Here is what they told WTOC:

"Inmates housed at our facilities arenot given access to the internet and law prohibits them from possessingtelecommunications devices in correctional facilities.  When a GDC inmateis identified on Facebook, the Department contacts them to request removal ofthe page. If an individual comes across an inmate Facebook page, we ask thatthey please contact the Department of Corrections and report it by going to dcor.state.ga.us.The Department does not tolerate contraband and takes very seriously itsmission of protecting the public and running safe and secure facilities."

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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