Press "Enter" to skip to content

Lawmakers opt for study over elimination of jail, prison fees

Incarcerated people and their loved ones will continue to pay fees that advocates and some lawmakers say are too stiff.

Senate Bill 581, introduced by Sen. Joseph Morrissey (D-Richmond), initially proposed to eliminate jail fees related to the costs of an inmate’s keep, work release, or participation in educational or rehabilitative programs. Additional costs include telephone services, commissaries and electronic visitation systems.

Paulettra James, the co-founder of Sistas in Prison Reform, said she spent thousands of dollars providing funds for her son and husband, both of whom are incarcerated. Her husband is currently incarcerated at Deerfield Correctional Facility in Southampton County and her son is at Coffeewood Correctional Center in Culpeper. The fees go toward commissary expenses, phone calls, stamps and taxes, James said.

“One thing statistics and science has shown is that individuals who have constant contact with their loved ones are less likely to recidivate,” ...

To view the rest of this article, you must log in. If you do not have an account with us, please subscribe here.