The Dutch prison association Custodial Institutions Agency (DJI) this year recorded 321 conversations between prisoners and lawyers, while that is actually not allowed, reports 1Limburg Wednesday.
These are conversations between lawyers and detainees throughout the Netherlands. The DJI records phone calls in prison by default, but disables the recording function when a lawyer’s number is called.
Due to an error in the number recognition software, conversations with lawyers were still recorded. This is not allowed, because conversations between lawyers and their clients must be treated confidentially.
The DJI would have deleted the recordings after discovery. “These conversations have not been overheard,” said a spokesman for the umbrella organization.
The Dutch Bar Association speaks of an “undesirable situation”. “Time and again it appears that the Justice Department cannot resist eavesdropping on conversations between lawyers and their clients,” says criminal lawyer Sjoerd van Berge Henegouwen.
It is not the first time that confidential phone calls from lawyers have been recorded. In 2019, it turned out that the Ministry of Justice did the same for years due to a software error, which led to 25,000 recorded conversations. Even then, the non-working number recognition was the cause.