The Norman Transcript

State/Region

September 23, 2013

Newspaper finds Okla. prisoners have online lives

OKLAHOMA CITY — Even though it is against prison rules, several inmates within the Oklahoma corrections system are active on Facebook.

Nearly three dozen inmates have been disciplined since January 2012 for living a part of their lives online, the Oklahoman reported Sunday. It also said it has found three dozen other inmates online but undetected by prison officials.

“NO GIRL CAN SAY THEY ARE WITH ME, ENID PEOPLE. Getting out in 1,584 days or less — hopefully!!” Logan Lee, a sex offender, wrote on his Facebook page in 2011 while declaring he is single.

Lee, 22, convicted of raping an 11-year-old, was disciplined when he was caught online last year. A typical punishment is loss of good-behavior credits for engaging in “disruptive behavior.”

The newspaper reported Lee used his own name on Facebook, though others hide their identity with nicknames. Most update their profiles using smuggled cellphones, the newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, its reporters spent hundreds of hours on Facebook to find inmates, identifying them primarily through their Facebook photos — many through “selfies,” photos taken by the inmate himself. In one instance cited by the newspaper, a guard recognized an inmate’s cell after being contacted by the inmate online.

At times, inmates post pictures of themselves. Convicted murder Clifford Putman, 26, is among the most prolific at it: 200 photos since June 2012.

“Just done a year under ground in a cement cage and just got denied to leave and now i got to do a nother whole year down here next to death row cauSE i wont live with no one but blacks,” Putman wrote. “And now my lil bro is down here going threw the same” thing, he wrote.

The “lil bro” is Putman’s younger brother, 24-year-old Cliffton Putman. The brothers were convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a young mother in 2007.

Some inmates use Facebook to communicate with each other directly. Inmate Darwin Hillmon, 24, who goes by “Vill Side General” on Facebook, has more than 1,000 Facebook friends, including several fellow inmates.

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