Oklahoma Prisoner's Family Calls Punishment For Facebook Page Unfair

Wednesday, February 19th 2014, 5:27 pm
By: News On 6

We've done stories in the past about prisoners getting in trouble for having a Facebook page and using illegal cell phones to make posts and comments.

In a twist, one prisoner's loved ones say he is being punished for a Facebook page his family is operating on his behalf.

Charles "Chuck" Jordan has been in prison for nearly 13 years.

His family says he was a drug addict who wrote bad checks, shoplifted and stole to support his habit.

About three years ago, his sisters say they started a Facebook page for him to update family in other states about how he's doing.

They say it clearly states they are running it, not him. This way, they said, when he writes them a letter, they post it and other things of interest.

"His birthday was on the 6th, so everybody told him happy birthday so when he does come home, he's got all this history he can look back on," sister Charlene Jordan said.

The family was happy when they found out Chuck was paroled and would be released in a few weeks. But they've since learned all that is on hold because the prison accused Chuck of operating the Facebook page.

"He doesn't know how to do Facebook, doesn't have the password, doesn't know the log in," Charlene Jordan said. "It's got his name on it and his picture but it's ours; it's our family's."

She says there are clearly no pictures of him in his cell or in the prison yard.

She says if the prison would compare the date stamps of their posts with video footage of Chuck in prison, they could see he's not the one posting.

As soon as they found out Chuck was in trouble, they took down the page.

"If we had even an inkling of an idea he would get in trouble for this, we would've taken it down years ago," Charlene said.

They are devastated he may have to stay in prison months, even years longer for something they say he didn't do.

Chuck is the youngest of 10 kids and they are ready to have him home.

"Our mom passed away while he was in there," Charlene said. "We've been keeping her ashes for him to come home, to have her services. It's gonna be hard if they keep him for something we did."

Charlene says Chuck had a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday about the Facebook page. She said he was charged with having the Facebook page and was told he's not going anywhere, but they didn't know for how long.

Chuck is at the Davis Correctional facility in Holdenville, which is run by the private company Correction Centers of America.

We reached out to employees of the facility for their side. This is the response as it was emailed to us by a spokesperson.

To follow up on your questions earlier, a disciplinary hearing did occur earlier today, but the matter is still open until the warden reviews and signs off on the final disposition (i.e. guilty or not guilty, and if guilty what sanctions will be). The matter is still being investigated, so that part of the process has not yet been completed.

More broadly and by way of background on the disciplinary process, when an inmate is charged with a disciplinary infraction, it is initially investigated and a disciplinary hearing is subsequently conducted. After that, the warden reviews and finalizes the disposition (can affirm or overturn findings). That is then reviewed by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to ensure that the facility adhered to department policies. If the disposition is a finding of guilt, there is an appeal process available to the inmate.

On your other question about potential impact to parole status/release eligibility, that is a matter that would be determined by parole officials, and not by the facility, CCA or OKDOC. My understanding is that parole officials conduct their own investigations and determine whether or not disciplinary charges should be factored into their decisions, in advance of any parole hearings.