Prisoners’ groups and defense lawyers are objecting, but New York City jails changed policy in 2007 to permit the tape recording of out-going telephone calls. Such tape recording was already routine in some New York State and federal prisons. The digital system was installed in some jails in 2008 and was completed in 2010 according to a spokesman for the city’s Correction Department. Signs right next to the telephones warn prisoners that their calls may be taped.
That doesn't stop some prisoners from calling the girlfriends or wives they've been charged with assaulting in order to threaten and/or attempt to coerce a domestic violence victim to drop the pending criminal charges. The prosecutor's office then uses the recorded calls against the prisoners to get convictions or pleas. New York defense lawyers complain about prosecutors’ use of the recordings, calling it an unfair system that is a trap for men who are cut off from the world. [Perhaps the take-away here is that perhaps these men are so stupid that they use a fist or weapon rather than words and logic to resolve domestic issues and/or that they just can't read the plain-as-day sign.]
The Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, argued, “There really is no issue of fairness.” He noted that inmates were told that their phone calls would be taped.
To read the entire NY Times article, click here. Abuse Suspects, Your Calls Are Taped. Speak Up. Glabberson, William. Feb. 25, 2011.