Inmate Phone Calls: Are They Listening in and Recording?

To an inmate, the phone is a lifeline to the outside world. Some inmates dial memorized numbers all day long, hoping that someone will pick up. It is important to remember that every phone call between an inmate and an outside number is recorded, and callers should act accordingly.

Avoid anything incriminating.

Staff members can listen to recorded calls.

Many jails have moved to computerized systems with software that scans calls for specific buzzwords.

Don’t be afraid to express love, feelings, and information about the everyday goings-on with your family and friends because those will not implicate you or the inmate, as long as they’re illegal.

Related Video: Incriminating yourself

Check out: Why can’t I put a three-way call through for an inmate?

Protect the inmate.

If your inmate starts talking about any aspect of his case – including witnesses, guilt or evidence, steer him immediately away to another topic.

Remind the inmate not to discuss the case on the telephone.

Hang up if need be.

In the rare event that your inmate insists on continuing case discussions, don’t hesitate to hang-up. It is better to temporarily get him angry than to hurt his defense.

Final thoughts:  Phone calls from an inmate are a great way to maintain a connection, as long as you both remember that every word said is recorded and potentially listened to by others, and ultimately used against the callers.

Related: Recorded jail phone calls provide valuable tool to prosecutors



About Mark Miclette 682 Articles
writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.