Effective July 14, the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections will once again permit licensed attorneys and their non-lawyer assistants to possess and use cell phones inside the detention center. This reverses an LMDC policy in effect since April 2014 that prohibited attorneys – along with paralegals, law clerks, investigators, social workers and others – from bringing cell phones within the secure perimeters of it facilities.

The policy change was prompted by an amendment to KRS 520.010(3) enacted by the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly. Before the amendment, cell phones were among several items included in the definition of “dangerous contraband” banned from detention centers for safety reasons. As amended, the statute now exempts from that definition cell phones authorized under KRS 441.111 which, in turn, directs jailers to create policies that “shall allow, but may provide reasonable conditions upon, attorneys to use cell phones in connection with their professional services in a detention facility.”

Among other things, the new LMDC policy specifies that any cell phone brought into the detention center may be subject to visual inspection and must not be used in violation of applicable laws or Kentucky Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct. Additionally, cell phones must remain in the custody and control of authorized users at all times; they are not to be handled by inmates or used to facilitate any contact, directly or indirectly, between inmates and third parties.

The full policy, including additional restrictions, may be viewed HERE.