Eavesdropping in Maine Jails

Jailed defendants have a legal right to privately speak with their attorneys. Yet, in Maine, county jails are eavesdropping on these calls. Four jails recorded nearly 1,000 attorney-client calls in a single year and shared recordings with police and prosecutors before trial, a Maine Monitor investigation has found. Often defense lawyers are not told when their calls are recorded and agencies lack rules about what to do once law enforcement and prosecutors eavesdrop on jailed suspects’ calls to their attorneys.

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A phone hangs on a wall inside a common area at a jail.

Jailed defendants expected private attorney calls. They didn’t always get them.

Murder suspects fear they can’t get a fair trial after state police acknowledge listening to portions of phone calls with their attorneys.

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Maine jails recorded nearly 1,000 calls from inmates to their attorneys at the Aroostook, Androscoggin, Franklin and Kennebec county jails. The Maine Monitor filed public records requests to obtain the records, which span June 2019 to May 2020.

Authors & Contributors

Samantha Hogan

Samantha Hogan focuses on government accountability projects for The Maine Monitor. Samantha, who was named 2021 Maine Journalist of the Year by the Maine Press Association, joined The Maine Monitor as its first full-time reporter as a 2019 Report for America corps member. She spent 2020 reporting exclusively on Maine's court system through the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. Samantha previously worked for The Frederick News-Post, covering state politics, agriculture, the environment and energy, and interned twice for The Washington Post.


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