Florida has started collecting $4 a month fee from the banking accounts of its 81,000 inmates, even if they have no money at all.
The fee was imposed unanimously by the Legislature and should bring in about $3.5 million to the Department of Corrections.
The fee is drawing criticism from inmate advocacy groups and the Florida Justice Institute, which has filed a suit challenging the fee.
Although the new fee went into effect on July first, the state decided to begin collecting it at the end of the month.
State Representative State Fred Brummer of Apopka says citizens on the outside have to pay for their banking and he sees nothing wrong with requiring inmates to pay for banking.
All Florida inmates are required to have a bank account. They use it to pay for canteen items such as deodorant, clothing and junk foods. Inmates are not allowed to have money in prison.