Federal Penitentiaries: marked decrease unauthorized telephone conferences

juillet-2011-decembre-2013-appelsThe implementation of a new call interruption system has significantly driven down unauthorized conference calls made by Canadian prisoners.

This is at least the submissions of the Correctional Service Canada in documents filed in a lawsuit commenced in the Federal Court by 11 detainees, including members of the Hells Angels, against the new system.

The device, called detection and interruption of 3WC (three way call), in force continuously since March 2014 in all prisons in the country. Basically, the system automatically cuts the inmate contact as soon as he receives an unusual noise or a change of atmosphere in the conversation.

Each month, 800,000 calls are made by federal prisoners. From July 2011 to December 2013, calls for three unauthorized ranged between 18 and 20%, but decreased to 2.2% in December 2014 in penitentiaries in Quebec, according to a statement under oath attached to the court file.

In principle, a prisoner has the right to call only to persons or organizations that have been previously approved by corrections and whose names appear on a list, or certain professionals, such as lawyers.

In the statement, the director of preventive security and intelligence of Canadian Correctional Services, Guy Campeau says that this measure was adopted “for communications with untrusted people threaten security penitentiary.”

“Communications with untrusted people facilitate illegal activities such as drug trafficking or the introduction of unauthorized objects in institutions. ”

Too sensitive

According to the prisoners who turn to the Federal Court, the overnight call interruption system to their normal communications with the outside world and their rehabilitation, and bullied their constitutional rights.

In their application submitted on behalf of an inmate Samy Tamouro, which supports several of his calls were cut unexpectedly after the installation of the system, the plaintiffs argue that the calls with external resources are constantly interrupted without reason valid and that the system is unfair.

They particularly cite a long list of binding advice given by Correctional Services to ensure that calls are cut (see list at end of text) and claim it becomes difficult to control ambient noise and breath on the line.

The plaintiffs, who have the support of the Committee of detainees at Archambault Institution, argue that the system reduces the quality of their detention and also complained of having to pay back dropped calls for which they have done nothing wrong.

Finally, they wonder why penitentiaries do not adopt more measures to prevent the entry of drugs inside the walls if it is the real issue behind the implementation of the system.

For their part, the Correctional Services replicate the calls of 11 applicants were analyzed and no problems were detected. They add that technical adjustments were made to reduce the sensitivity of the system a year ago.

They believe that the impact is minimal and that the paramount consideration is the protection of society, thus refuting the arguments of inmates wishing that their constitutional rights are violated.

The case will be discussed next month in the Federal Court.


• The called should begin the conversation as soon as you answer the call.

• The called should avoid intense and sudden noises, and do not cry or cough into the telephone.

• If a person in another room of the house plans to use an additional device to join the conversation, she should start talking as soon as she picks up the phone.

• When the person receiving the call uses a wireless phone, it should remain well within the scope recommended by the base station to avoid emission of parasitic result of the call interruption.

• Do not put the call on hold.

• The use of a loudspeaker should be avoided.

• Do not use the call waiting feature or answer a waiting call during the conversation.

• Software phones and other phones using the internet which significantly degrades sound quality during calls can result in the detection and interruption of a call for three lines.

The Stopru