So you are visiting someone in jail. Or perhaps, your friend or family member has been arrested and is now in custody at the local detention center. If this occurs to you, it is likely that you will call them up using the jail phone system. The bad news about calling up a detainee is that there are limitations on what you can discuss with them. In fact, there are many things to avoid discussing if you want to stay out of trouble. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Topics to Avoid
Do Not Discuss Your Criminal Case
This is perhaps the most important rule to remember when using a jail phone. You are not allowed to talk about your criminal case or ask the detainee any questions related to it. This includes asking them what is going on with their case, what the charges are, or what kind of defense they plan to mount. Anything related to the criminal case cannot be discussed over the jail phone. This rule is in place to prevent detainees from coordinating their defenses with each other, and to keep them from getting any information that could be used against them in court. So, if you want to talk to your friend or loved one who is in jail, stick to neutral topics like the weather or recent news stories.
Do Not Discuss Your Bail Amount
You are also not allowed to discuss your bail amount with the detainee on a jail phone call. This rule is also in place to prevent coordination of defenses between detainees and their friends and family. This is because your bail amount will be used as evidence against you if you go up for trial, especially regarding the severity of the crime you were charged with.
Do Not Discuss Any Other Criminal Cases
You cannot discuss any other criminal cases with the detainee on a jail phone call, whether they are related to you or not. This is because the jail phone system is monitored, and any discussion of criminal activity could be used against you in court. So, it is best to avoid talking about any criminal cases with the detainee, even if they are not related to you.
What Can You Talk About on A Jail Phone?
Do Talk About Relatives and Pets
You can discuss some things with the detainee over the jail phone, as long as they do not relate to their criminal charges. This includes discussing family members and pets with the detainee. The detainee may ask you how their children are doing or have any pets. You can discuss these topics with them as much as they want to. It is important to note that you should avoid discussing anything related to criminal activity when talking about family members and pets.
Do Talk About the Detainee’s Job
Another topic that you can discuss with the detainee is their job. You can talk about what kind of work they do, and how much they make. These types of topics could be important for them because this may be one of the few chances that they will have to ask you about it. So, feel free to chat as much as you want about your loved one’s job.
Do Talk About Food
You can also talk to the detainee about their favorite types of food, and their least favorite types of food as well. Any type of discussion that does not relate to criminal activity or jail can be used over the phone with a detainee. So, feel free to talk about anything that you want. Just make sure to avoid any topics related to criminal charges or the jail itself.
Why Should You Avoid These Topics?
They Can Be Used Against You at Trial
The main reason that the jail prohibits some types of phone calls is because they could be used against you in court. The jail wants to prevent detainees from coordinating their defenses, so they do not allow them to talk with each other about anything related to their criminal charges. Furthermore, the jail wants to prevent detainees from getting any information that could be used against them in court. This is why they do not allow discussions of bail amounts or other criminal cases on the jail phone calls.
The Phone Call Is Monitored
Another reason that the jail prohibits some types of calls is because the jail phone system is monitored. The phones are monitored for security purposes, to ensure that no one attempts to harm anyone else over the phone. So, if you try to discuss criminal activity or anything related to your criminal charges, the jail will know and you could be punished.
Jail Phone Calls Are Recorded
The last reason that the jail prohibits some topics is because they record all of their phone calls. If you try to discuss anything related to your criminal charges over the jail phone, it will be used against you at trial. This is because the jail will record your phone call, and you could be held in contempt of court for discussing anything related to the criminal charges.
It is important to remember that the jail prohibits some types of phone calls because they could be used against you in court. So, avoid discussing any criminal activity or anything related to your criminal charges on the jail phone call. You should also avoid discussing bail amounts or other criminal cases.