Thursday, September 8, 2011

Arizona Department of Corrections assessing $25 prison visitor fee

Arizona will assess a $25 fee on adults who want to visit inmates at any of its 15 facilities. Originally the Department of Corrections billed the charge as a background check fee, but now says that the one-time fee which will be assessed to visitors over 18, will be used to keep prison facilities safe for both inmates and visitors. The chief of staff for the Arizona Senate, Wendy Baldo, noted that the fees were intended to assist in bridging a $1.6 billion deficit the state faced at the beginning of the year. She added that the department is in need of about $150 million worth of building renewal and maintenance funds. A lawsuit has already been filed against the Department of Corrections in order to stop the collection of the fee, citing that it is unconstitutional.

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