In support of prisoners and prison justice activism in Canada
Prison to monitor phone calls

Globe and Mail
Thursday, April 29, 2004.

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Remand Centre is installing a computer system this week to screen outgoing calls from prisoners. Defence lawyers have attacked the system as an unconstitutional limit on the rights of people yet to be convicted of a crime.

But the province says it is trying to protect the public from harassing phone calls.

Prisoners will still be able to make free calls to any lawyer in the province, prisoner advocacy groups, city police and the provincial ombudsman.

All other calls will be intercepted.

Recipients of prisoner calls will be asked by an operator whether they wish to receive the call and if they choose to accept it, they will be charged $1.85.

The system will also bar prisoners from calling cellphones.

The province moved to a computerized phone system after Edmonton man Terry Mousseau, known as the river valley rapist.

He was convicted of criminal harassment for repeatedly phoning one of his victims from the remand centre.