New Mexico threatens inmate with 90 days' solitary because his family made him a Facebook page

The New Mexico Corrections Department has a policy prohibiting inmates from "accessing the Internet through third parties," which they've interpreted to mean that prisoners whose families maintain Facebook pages for them can be punished with solitary confinement.

The NMCD enforced the policy against Eric Aldaz, who had refused to tell his family to take the Facebook profile down, sending him down for 90 days' solitary confinement, a punishment considered to be torture by the United Nations. They relented at the last minute after much negative publicity, but have not clarified the policy. As written, it is so broad that it could punish inmates whose families send them printouts from health-related sites, or who bring printed-out emails from loved ones on visiting days.

New Mexico has been singled out by the ACLU and the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty for widespread abuse of solitary confinement, especially when used against nonviolent offenders. Its anti-Internet rules are likewise exceptional — Arizona's version of these rules was thrown out by a judge a decade ago, who found them unconstitutional.

New Mexico Inmate Faces 90 Days in Solitary Confinement Over a Facebook Profile
[Dave Maass/EFF]

(Thanks, Dave!)