Virginia lawmakers target added fees for food, phone …
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A bill to cap what some consider unfair fees in jails was rejected in the Virginia General Assembly, but a push to allow people incarcerated in state prisons to communicate with loved ones for free still has a chance.
Del. Irene Shin (D-Herndon) said her bill, which was rejected by a House panel on Thursday, would’ve put guardrails on “price gouging” in local and regional jails. She said it would have limited how much facilities can jack up food and hygiene products, while still allowing items to be priced at a maximum of 10% above the typical market rate in major retail stores. It also would have eliminated the cost of phone calls on an inmate’s approved call list.
“The mark up inside jail commissaries is exorbitantly high,” Shin said.