Arizona Begins Charging for Prison Visits

Tuesday, September 06, 2011
(photo: Coronation Street)
Visiting inmates in Arizona will now require a $25 background check fee, making the state the first in the nation to require such an expense.
Wendy Baldo, chief of staff for the Arizona Senate, admitted that the money raised from the new fee will not actually pay for background checks, but will be used instead for maintenance of state prisons. But that fact hasn’t calmed prisoner advocates who are incensed over charging family members to visit relatives.
David Fathi, director of the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, called the fee “mind-boggling.” He added that it may deter people from visiting prisoners, which could have a detrimental effect on inmate reform.
“We know that one of the best things you can do if you want people to go straight and lead a law-abiding life when they get out of prison is to continue family contact while they’re in prison,” Fathi told The New York Times. “Talk about penny-wise and pound-foolish.”
Visitors 18 years old or younger will not have to pay the fee.
The law that approved the background fee also authorized the Department of Corrections to impose a 1% charge on deposits made to a prisoner’s spending account.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Inmate Visits Now Carry Added Cost in Arizona (by Erica Goode, New York Times)
Private Prison Industry Helped Create Anti-Immigrant Law in Arizona (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


Thehpe2 10 years ago
unfreaking believable! they misuse and embezzle our taxes; then when all that’s gone, they look for other ways to shake us down. wanna see your loved ones? cough it up. $25.00. this is blackmail and don’t think they are going to stop here. do something about it.

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