By Jedidiah McKeehan

Let me say it right at the beginning: yes, your phone calls you make to and from jail are recorded. Yes, it is legal for law enforcement to do this.

A few years back I was representing a criminal client on a drug case and the investigating office called me and said, “hey, I was listening to the jail call between your client and her dad. She may want to stop talking about her case on the phone, we listen to those all of the time.” I was surprised by the heads up he was giving me, but it was a reminder that law enforcement will not stop trying to make a case against individuals after the arrest occurs. They will continue to gather evidence and keep tabs on the suspects.

For those people who find themselves to be on either end of a jail call or visit, the safest thing to do is assume that you are being observed, and a recording is being made of the conversations being held.

This will not (or at least it is not supposed to) apply to jail visits that inmates have with their attorneys. Those meetings, and the conversations held during them, are supposed to be confidential and free from the prying eyes of law enforcement or any other third parties.

Be careful what is said though, your calls are being recorded and listened to by law enforcement when you are on a jail call.

Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including divorce, custody, criminal, and personal injury. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.