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CT Prisoners Pinched for Cost of Imprisonment

A1995 "get tough" state law mandated that the Connecticut Department of Correction write a regulation for assessing prisoners for the cost of their incarceration In 1997, that mandate was codified into sections 18-85a-1 to 18-85a-4 of the "Regulations of State Agencies: cost of incarceration, services and programs."

"The inmate's responsibility to pay the assessed cost of incarceration shall be discharged in part by a 10% deduction from all deposits made to the inmate's individual account including deposits made from work assignments."

In addition, the following deductions will be made for programs and services: Elective education programs, $3 per course; Vocational education programs, $3 per course; Participation in extended family visits, $10 per visit; Sick call, $3 per visit; Dental procedures, $3 per procedure; Eyeglasses, $3 per prescription; Laboratory testing fees for drug testing (where the results are positive), "actual costs of confirmation test."

The CT DOC began phasing in the co-pay provisions January 1, 1998. And in mid-1998, the DOC announced another budget squeeze: its 15,800 prisoners are now rationed to one roll of toilet paper per week. If a prisoner runs out, he or she "can borrow from a neighbor, or buy a roll at the commissary for 55 cents," officials said.

Correction Department spokesperson Sylvia Flickinger said the aim of the toilet paper policy is to "save money by eliminating waste."

Some guards expressed concern that, while cutting back on certain "inmate amenities" makes sense, the DOC is inviting trouble by skimping on toilet paper.

Corrections Digest , Reader Mail

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