Attorney-client privileges violated after phone call recordings discovered at Douglas County jail

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 6:16 PM CDT
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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Kan. (KCTV) - The Douglas County Jail was recording phone calls between defendants and their defense attorneys for several months. This is a violation of their attorney-client privilege.

A couple weeks ago, someone at the District Attorney’s office was listening to a recorded call from the jail. That person then realized it was an attorney-client communication and immediately shut off the recording. They contacted the Sheriff’s Office and did a deep dive to find out if any other privileged calls were recorded.

“We found about five attorneys that were representing people in custody - their numbers were not entered correctly to not record those conversations. We’ve found 11 more since then, so we’ve taken those 16 and rectified that so it doesn’t record in the future and any past recordings are wiped away,” says George Diepenbrock, Douglas County Sheriffs Office Public Information Officer.

Diepenbrock said there was no malicious intent and this was purely accidental. They have identified three recordings that were accessed.

At this time he said he does not believe those recordings will have any kind of impact on court hearings for those cases.

The Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s office have pooled resources to identify and notify all affected parties.

They are working to rectify this data error and plan on conducting a full audit of calls accessed since the inception of the system.

They’ve been using this system since 2011 and said they’ve heard of this happening with this specific system in other jails.