Inmate-lawyer meetings being caught on surveillance video

Prison officials at Bordeaux and Rivières-des-Prairies have introduced video surveillance in the rooms where inmates meet their lawyers, because they are finding drugs, cell phones and other illegal materials on hundreds of inmates, and they suspect that often times; it is the lawyers who bring in the material for their clients.

Montreal's defense lawyers association says the surveillance cameras are illegal and it is fighting to have them removed.

“These meetings between lawyers and their clients are privileged and it is totally unacceptable that they be recorded or monitored by prison officials,” Richard Prihoda, the president of the association, said.

The prisons are defending themselves by saying that the cameras do not capture sound and are clearly visible to the people in the room.

“The vast majority of cases where we meet clients who are detained, they are detained prior to trial, it is for trial preparation and I don’t think people’s rights should be cut off,” Montreal defense lawyer, Andrew Barbaski said.

The defense lawyers association also called the suspicions offensive.

“We know that prison officials have been arrested for such behavior and so have family members,” the president added.

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