Ohio's prison system launches Facebook page

The page is intended to offer general content about the state's prison system


By Alan Johnson
The Columbus Dispatch

COLOMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio prisons have leaped into social networking by creating a Facebook page.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Facebook page, which can be linked from the agency's general website at www.drc.ohio.gov/, doesn't have a lot of information on it yet. But it does say there are 51,154 inmates in Ohio prisons this week, 37 more than last week.

Julie Walburn, the agency's communications director, said Facebook in the long run will be "a useful venue to put out worthwhile information to interested stakeholders."

Inmates will not have access to the page.

Walburn said the content will include general information about the prison system, including a head count of the number of offenders in state institutions, plus details on re-entry programs for ex-offenders.

One thing that won't be on the prison Facebook page: executions.

"At this point, we have no plans to post execution information," Walburn said. "Some people think that would be in poor taste."

At one point, agency officials considered instantly posting on Facebook or Twitter when an execution occurred, but they decided to leave that to the news media.

There is no extra cost to the state for setting up and operating the page.

Copyright 2010 The Columbus Dispatch
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