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.
This series is supported by:
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.
Maine lawmakers consider making jail phone calls to lawyers free
Proposed legislation seeks to protect defendant rights to attorney-client privilege in jails.
Maine group recommends phone numbers be collected to prevent more recordings of attorneys
Questions about penalties for investigators who receive confidential recordings unanswered as of Tuesday.
Study group recommends stricter policies about access to prisoner phone calls
More recommendations may be considered on Nov. 1.
Study group weighs statewide solution to prevent recording of prisoners’ phone calls with lawyers
Recommendations would go to the Legislature. It comes after months of reporting by The Maine Monitor.
Maine prosecutors drop indictment amid allegations investigator ‘monitored’ attorney calls
Kennebec County memo shows investigator monitored calls a man made to his lawyer in April 2022.
Maine sheriffs adopt changes to prevent individual jails from recording confidential calls, but no statewide solution emerges
10 facilities recorded jailed defendants’ calls to attorneys, an investigation finds.
Study group to scrutinize jail, prison policies amid reports calls to lawyers were recorded
Strip searches and face-to-face meetings among the policies also being reviewed by new legislative committee.
Jury convicts Aroostook County man of 2019 double homicide in Castle Hill
Bobby Nightingale faces a possible sentence of up to life in prison.
Jail calls between murder suspect and his lawyer properly disclosed by prosecutors, judge rules
Bobby Nightingale’s trial is scheduled to begin on August 15 in Caribou.
Defense lawyers want murder indictments dismissed because Maine State Police heard confidential calls
The lawyers for Bobby Nightingale and Jaquile Coleman seek to have the charges thrown out because of alleged attorney-client privilege violations.
DATABASE OF RECORDED CALLS
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
SEND US A TIP
If you or someone you know believes they were recorded speaking to an attorney while being held at a Maine county jail, or if you have records showing that attorney calls were recorded, send us a tip.
Help us expand our in-depth and enterprise reporting so The Maine Monitor can continue producing impactful work like this series and uncover problems affecting Mainers.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
We publish two newsletters: The Daily Monitor (a curation of the day’s most important news from our media partners) and The Sunday Monitor (exclusively featuring our work).