Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says audit finds that more than 1,500 jail calls between defendants, attorneys were recorded

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An audit of the Douglas County jail’s inmate calling system found that 1,520 privileged calls between defendants and attorneys were recorded that should not have been.

However, only seven call recordings were ever opened, and none were listened to in full, the audit report states.

The issue of calls being recorded came to light during a Sept. 14 hearing for Derrick Reed, 18, who is charged with first-degree murder in the March 2023 shooting death of 14-year-old Kamarjay Shaw. Calls between Reed and his defense attorney, Mark Hartman, were among those recorded.

Lt. David Hardy of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office testified that inmates’ calls from the jail are regularly recorded, and some corrections officers routinely “spot check” calls to make sure there are no outgoing or incoming threats to safety or communication about contraband. 

To ensure that calls with defense attorneys are not recorded, Hardy said, there are boxes that must be checked on contact entries in the ICSolutions system. When it’s done correctly, calls to attorneys’ phone numbers are never recorded. (Read more from that hearing at this link.)

The audit found that 29 attorney phone numbers tied to 22 attorneys were incorrectly set to record. “The error of not selecting the no-record box in ICSolutions occurred sporadically with entering the handful of attorney phone numbers since 2010,” and those phone numbers accounted for 10.7% of all attorney phone numbers in the jail’s system, according to the report.

Seven of the 1,520 total call recordings had been opened by DGSO or Douglas County district attorney’s office staff.

“Of the seven calls opened, five were accessed in a range from 16% to 4% and two were accessed at 0%, either because the call did not connect or the staff member did not have it open long enough to register a percentage,” the audit report states.

Another 961 calls were in the system as recordings, but the calls never connected, so there was no content, according to the report.

“The Sheriff’s Office has made all measures to notify all 22 attorneys involved that their phone numbers were not properly entered into the system, the number of recordings and if any of those calls were opened by staff,” the report states.

The full audit report is below (click here to open it in a new tab).


“Conversations between an attorney and client are constitutionally protected. We discovered a mistake that put those protections at risk, but through this audit we have worked swiftly and with prosecutors to rectify it and implement protections to correct it from occurring in the future,” Douglas County Sheriff Jay Armbrister said in the release. “The public can also see we did not find any malicious intent or prejudice to any party as those who accessed the seven calls terminated listening once they realized an attorney was on the line.”

Douglas County DA Suzanne Valdez said in the release that only two of the calls were accessed by members of the DA’s office.

“We have determined that both instances were inadvertent, and members of this office acted appropriately in immediately disconnecting the calls,” Valdez said in the release. “We support the decision of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a prompt audit and to institute additional safeguards to protect the confidentiality of privileged communications.” 

Of the calls that were opened, one occurred in 2020, two were in 2022 and four were in 2023, according to the report.

In Reed’s case, Judge Sally Pokorny said last month that the court will assess the need for an additional hearing after the audit results are reviewed. The next hearing is set for Nov. 9, and the case is set to go to trial beginning Nov. 27.

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