An Illinois Department of Corrections’ policy prohibiting disparaging language on social media about inmates went into effect November 1. Beginning December 1 transgender individuals were included among protected groups.
The original policy forbid department employees from posting vulgar, obscene, intimidating, harassing; or disparaging content to a person or group based or race, religion, sexual orientation or any other protected class. On Sunday, the policy prohibited offending language related to gender identity.
Alan Mills is with the Uptown People’s Law Center. His group represents prisoners’ cases.
‘The department has been, I think it’s fair to say, quite embarrassed when some of these postings on social media by their employees have been used in court to cross examine the employees,” said Mills.
“This is kind of a particularly in the case of transgender plaintiffs. And some of the postings have been quite graphic in the way that prison employees have humanized and denigrated our clients.”
The department issued a statement saying it created the policy because “the administration does not tolerate the use of disparaging language in any way, whether it’s in person or on social media platforms.” – Maureen McKinney – NPR Illinois