Washington v. Meachum

In Washington v. Meachum, 238 Conn. 692, 725, 680 A.2d 262 (1996), the Court rejected a claim by convicted prisoners and pretrial detainees that the review of nonprivileged outgoing mail, and the monitoring and recording of nonprivileged inmate telephone conversations by prison personnel violated our state constitution. In Washington, our Supreme Court recognized that the federal courts consistently have concluded that the limited privacy rights of inmates do not include the right to make unmonitored nonprivileged telephone calls. Id., 717. The Court observed that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in prison, where "official surveillance has traditionally been the order of the day." Washington v. Meachum, supra, 718. The court in Washington also held that such an expectation is not one that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable. Id., 724. The Washington court also rejected the claim that the reading of inmates' nonprivileged outgoing mail violated the first and fourteenth amendments to the federal constitution. Such interception is authorized under the department of correction's regulations, which authorized the monitoring if it were needed to "further the substantial interests of security, order or rehabilitation." Id., 725.