Some Missouri inmates have still been wronging citizens from inside their prison cells and the state Department of Corrections is putting an end to it. The Departments says it is banning offenders from soliciting pen pals on the internet beginning June 1st. Spokesman Brian Hauswirth says some inmates have been defrauding the public. Hauswirth says inmates have given false descriptions of themselves, have given false information on prison sentences and parole dates, and have solicited money for false activities – such as medical studies or Bible classes. He says in some instances individuals have been scammed out of $10,000.
Hauswirth says the department will begin monitoring popular inmate Websites and if offenders are caught soliciting pen pals on the internet after June 1st they will face a conduct violation. He says that violation could impact offenders’ recreation time, time to speak on the telephone, or, he says, it could land them in administrative segregation.
He says the department is aware this new ban could bring a lawsuit, but that won’t stop it from enforcing the ban. He says the department will continue to allow offenders to send and receive letters through regular mail, but he says those letters will be stamped – indicating they are from one of the state’s prisons. Hauswirth adds that inmates are not accessing the Web from inside the prison, but are getting help from their contacts on the outside.