Vistors fee for Arizona prisons ruled constitutional

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Visitors to Arizona's state prisons must continue paying a one-time fee that goes toward maintaining state-run lockups.

The Arizona Supreme Court has declined to review a Court of Appeals ruling issued last May. That ruling rejected a challenge by prisoner right advocates and said the fee is constitutional.

Arizona implemented the $25 fee in July 2011.

The state said it was for a background check but money from the fee goes for repairs and maintenance of state-run prisons.

People who were approved for visitation prior to the enactment of the fee being implemented were grandfathered in.

Children under 18, inmates' foster parents and those who want only phone privileges are exempt from payment.

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