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Recording calls would prevent inmates from making threats: minister

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The NDP introduced legislation today that will see all inmate phone conversations monitored.

Justice Minister Andrew Swan said in an interview that those phone calls, involving inmates in provincial institutions, will be routinely recorded as part of an effort to uncover illegal activity and to substantiate instances where an inmate threatens someone or breaches a court order, like calling someone they’re prohibited from contacting.

"Threats and intimidation of the public will not be tolerated, especially from someone already in custody," Swan said. "This measure will further help prevent people who are incarcerated from harassing victims and witnesses."

The legislation, part of the Government's Domestic Violence Strategy, would amend the Correctional Services Act to allow corrections officials to record inmate telephone calls.

Swan said the legislation would not affect an inmate’s right to speak confidentially with a lawyer.

Under existing legislation, officials needed a specific reason to monitor an inmate’s phone call.

The proposed legislation would allow corrections to use the evidence in internal or criminal proceedings.

History

Updated on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 3:26 PM CST: updates with more information

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