The US might restrict social media in prisons and inmates are worried: ‘I may lose my voice soon’

Source: theguardian.com 5/28/24

A proposed change to US prison rules is threatening to punish inmates for using social media or directing others to do so on their behalf, severing what some view as a vital link to the outside world.

Delores Eggerson manages her son’s social media accounts while he serves a life sentence in Arkansas. For almost 22 years, she’s logged into his Facebook from her home in Manville, Texas, screenshotting messages from old classmates, or photos from family reunions. It’s become her way of feeling connected – a part of his incarceration – and the solitary life he now has to lead.

“It gives me so much joy when he calls and says, Mom, I got the pictures; who is this, and we get to talk,” Delores said. “The whole family is not incarcerated, and this gives us a sense of being together.”

At 75 years old, Delores hasn’t always had an easy time navigating social media. After her son, AnDreco Lott was convicted in 2001, she returned to school, obtaining her master’s degree in public administration to develop her computer skills.

“There is so much discrimination in the system: skin color, finances, status,” Delores added. “I needed to understand the laws so I could help him.”

While federal inmates nationwide are already prohibited from using cellphones, code 294 – the crackdown proposed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) – goes a step further.

The government agency uses a tiered system of discipline, ranking violations committed in institutions nationwide by their security level: greatest, high, moderate and low. Inmates using social media or having families run their accounts have been proposed as “high” risk, putting them in the same category as violence, fighting, or damaging property.

“There is no articulated reason, explanation or justification to this,” Shanna Rifkin, deputy general counsel at Families Against Mandatory Minimums, told the Guardian. “It reads as an afterthought, but I can assure you that for incarcerated people and their loved ones, it is anything but. Social media is a tool of connection, and connection to family and friends is more important than ever when someone you love is incarcerated.”

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Justification automatically confers entitlement. Entitlement automatically confers impunity. Thus, people being held in Federal Prisons will have their access to Social Media reduced if not eliminated… as a legislative and/or administrative acknowledgment of the People’s Entitlement to do so, with impunity.

The people need only state their desire to do this, pointing to the convictions that placed these people in the prison as justification for their entitlement to do this. Once done, whatever happens, happens… the people cannot be held responsible for any results this may produce.

So if this man, or another in a similar situation, becomes so angry, resentful, and bitter that he ____ in response, the people have no responsibility. If that gets a few inmates killed, so be it. Some CO gets beaten to death, makes no difference. They bare no responsibility for any outcomes that may occur as a result of them exercising this entitlement.

All inmates are subject to whatever petty vindictiveness the People feel entitled to subject them to. All COs are also subject to whatever happens as a result of the people exercising their entitlement to subject inmates to whatever pettiness they feel justified in. The impunity of the entitlement confers the inalienable right to act with total disregard for all others… whatever happens, happens, and whatever happens, is meaningless.

Also, this man’s Mother has no right to interfere with the people’s entitlements, nor to suggest they bare any responsibility for anything that may happen as a result. For you see, his conviction justifies treating her with total disregard. The justification entitles them to do this, with equal impunity.

Extending beyond this individual, the people’s entitlement to do this, with impunity, will absolve them of any results this may produce. So know that, if someone outside of prison becomes so enraged by their contact with a incarcerated loved one being severed as a result of this entitlement to petty vindictiveness, that they decide that their entitlement to _____ is justified, the people still bare no responsibility. Again, whatever happens, happens… and will never matter.

Further, the people have an entitlement to their moral bankruptcy, and all entitlements that it justifies. Any attempt to interfere will be punished.

Last but not least, as all actions of the people are justified entitlements, any suggestion that they are a result of moral bankruptcy will be construed as an attempt to interfere… thus justifying the people’s entitlement to punish, with impunity.

Your agreement with their justifications is not required. All that you are required to do is make no attempt to interfere with their entitlement… or else!

OBEY or PAY!

And this is how America functions! Your justifications vs my justifications in a contest to determine who is entitled to shove their ideas down the throats of others, with impunity. The winner is determined by popular decree, unless….
[…]

Those in power don’t like their dirty laundry being exposed online, so they want to extinguish that ability…doubt it would pass court muster given Packingham, IMO, even when those using it by proxy are incarcerated and thus should expect less privileges while being punished. Cannot count on the help through normal ways to petition for better conditions, but the new town square of the internet certainly highlights it like it does globally and allows it to become known for being addressed. This could get interesting. Hope there are attorneys already watching this and preparing legal attacks to stop this and even reverse it if implemented.

Of course, the easy way is to just make everything attorney-client privilege and then it gets out still, but with an extra step along the way

Last edited 17 days ago by TS

Apparently, the state prisoners in Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga HAVE internet access while those men next door in Coalinga State Hospital, who are said to be being held “in the least restrictive manner possible,” as those who have served their criminal sentences, are denied access to all computers, tablets, or any devices that could be connected wirelessly or to the Internet.

They are completely severed from the outside world except that they can make phone calls and receive and send mail. Which are illegally listened in on and read, by the way. Their publications are censored.

We really should be doing more about the utter travesty that is “Sex Offender Civil Commitment” throughout the United States.