“So noted”. This is Dearborn County Sheriff Michael Kreinhop’s response to my 8/21/11 inmate request. I submitted the request in the hopes that the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center would change its unconstitutional policy of not allowing out of state lawyers to have confidential visits with clients who are incarcerated in the DCLEC. Rather than give a simple “yes” or “no”, Sheriff Kreinhop just dodged the question.
During my bond reduction hearing on August 17, 2011, Dearborn County Commissioner Shane McHenry testified that he participated in an inquiry into a “tip” from an inmate in the Hamilton County (OH) Justice Center. Inmate Keith Jones alleged that I approached him about finding someone to perform a “drive-by shooting” on Judge James D. Humphrey. Commissioner McHenry testified that after traveling to Hamilton County, Ohio and questioning Keith Jones with law enforcement officials from Cincinnati Police and the ATF, none of the law enforcement agencies pursued the “tip” from Mr. Jones. It appears that Mr. Jones not only has a long criminal history, but also has a long history of trying to snitch on people in order to get out of trouble. This isn’t the first time Dearborn County law enforcement has ventured out of state to investigate matters pertaining to me. On November 2, 2009, Michael Kreinhop traveled to Norwood, Ohio to question me even though my Ohio lawyer told Kreinhop that I would not be participating in any investigation if Kreinhop was unwilling to explain the nature of the investigation and who filed the complaint. Dearborn County law enforcement has the ability to investigate, issue arrest warrants for, and extradite people in other states, yet Sheriff Kreinhop and the DCLEC refuse to allow lawyers from those states to meet with their clients in the same confidential environment as Indiana attorneys.
This so called “policy” of the DCLEC is not a written one. In fact, the “policy” did not exist prior to my incarceration. The first time my Ohio attorney had been denied access to a client incarcerated in the DCLEC was when he attempted to visit me following my arraignment on March 11, 2011. Coincidently, it was the same Ohio lawyer whom Kreinhop ignored when Kreinhop traveled to Ohio to question me behind my lawyer’s back. Now Dearborn County is discovering that Sheriff Kreinhop’s seemingly immature and retaliatory actions can have severe constitutional ramifications, because Dearborn County is actively and knowingly obstructing inmates’ Constitutional rights to legal counsel.
A little while ago, I had a cell mate that was charged with fleeing from the police. The chase began in Indiana and ended with his arrest in Ohio. The man was charged and incarcerated in Hamilton County, Ohio. A short time later, similar charges were filed against him in Dearborn County, Indiana resulting from the same alleged incident. The man was extradited to Dearborn County, where he was held despite the pending case in Ohio. Now the only means of verbal communication that the man can have with his Ohio lawyer is by telephone or through a phone visitation booth both of which can be monitored by Dearborn County officials. Dearborn County forces inmates like this to discuss near, identical charges in another state through a medium that can be monitored by Dearborn County law enforcement. This isn’t the only way that the policies of Sheriff Michael Kreinhop imposed on the constitutional right of inmates in the DCLEC as Sheriff Kreinhop doesn’t allow some inmates to have legal counsel while being questioned/interrogated by law enforcement officials. In recent times Sheriff Kreinhop and the DCLEC allowed a detective from Florida to interrogate an inmate in the DCLEC regarding an alleged crime in Florida. Sheriff Kreinhop allowed the formal interrogation by the Florida law enforcement official to occur; however, Sheriff Kreinhop denied the inmate the ability to have a Florida attorney present to advise the inmate of his rights because Sheriff Kreinhop refuses to allow out of state lawyers to have confidential meetings with their clients.
I’m sure Dearborn County Sheriff Kreinhop will argue that the jail does not monitor phone conversations between lawyers and clients. He would also tell you that the jail does not monitor conversations between out of state attorneys in the phone visitation booth. (Inmates may only have two visits a week. Visits can only be scheduled 9am-11am and 1pm-3:30pm, Monday through Friday. Visiting times and dates must be scheduled on the prior weekend and time and dates are not guaranteed.) The concerning aspect is that Sheriff Kreinhop continues to defend his policy even though it does more harm than good.
Who does Sheriff Kreinhop allow to have confidential contact visits with inmates in the DCLEC? The obvious answer is attorneys that are licensed to practice law in the state of Indiana. The DCLEC also allows ordinary citizens to hold AA meetings with inmates. Sheriff Kreinhop allows personal GED tutors to have contact visits with inmates. The DCLEC allows spiritual leaders of any recognized religion to hold church sessions with inmates. So why is Sheriff Kreinhop so adamant about keeping lawyers from other states out of the DCLEC? Other than occasionally having to check the ID of an out of state lawyer and directing the lawyer to the contact visitation booth, allowing out of state lawyers to meet with their clients in a confidential setting poses absolutely no inconvenience to Sheriff Kreinhop and his personnel; unless Sheriff Michael Kreinhop is involved in illegal activity. The only things that Dearborn County stands to lose by permitting an out of state lawyer to visit inmates in the DCLEC are the ability to monitor otherwise confidential attorney/client conversations and the ability to fend off outside lawyers who may have an interest in protecting the civil rights of inmates detained in the DCLEC.
Dearborn County Sheriff Michael Kreinhop did everything in his power to bar my Ohio lawyer from meeting with me in the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center. Prior to my arrest, there were no policies that banned out of state lawyers from meeting with clients who were incarcerated in the DCLEC. My current Ohio lawyer was allowed to have confidential visits with clients in the DCLEC until I was arrested. When my Ohio lawyer was admitted to practice law in the Southern District of the US Federal Court, Sheriff Kreinhop still balked at allowing my lawyer to meet with me. It was only after Sheriff Kreinhop made a last ditch phone call to an “unknown” Dearborn County official that Sheriff Kreinhop allowed my lawyer to meet with me.
If you disregard the notion that Sheriff Kreinhop, who has over 30 years of law enforcement experience, was unaware that his policies violated the constitutionally protected rights of inmates in the DCLEC then Sheriff Michael Kreinhop and Dearborn County Indiana are maliciously and willfully conspiring to deprive inmates of their civil rights. Dearborn County Sheriff Michael Kreinhop is also a key supporter of a new jail expansion proposal in Dearborn County. On one hand Sheriff Kreinhop is obstructing an inmate’s ability to get out of jail by depriving the inmate of his civil rights, and on the other hand, Sheriff Kreinhop is arguing that a new jail is necessary to relieve overcrowding in the current jail.
I encourgage people to voice their opinions and concerns about the unethical and/or illegal policies of Dearborn County Sheriff Michael Kreinhop and the DCLEC. I would also suggest that Dearborn County taxpayers call their elected officials to relay any concerns of a potential legal cataclysm resulting from Dearborn County willfully obstructing the civil rights of inmates who are detained in the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center. To contact me or my family email: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for the support.