- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 13, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A state lawmaker is proposing legislation that would prohibit inmate couples from getting married at Alaska’s prisons.

Anchorage Republican Rep. Bob Lynn introduced the bill Friday, which he said is a matter of fairness, The Juneau Empire reported (https://bit.ly/1JJn0gL). Lynn said inmates should not be able to get married in prison and share a cell with their spouse, while there are other inmates who do not have that ability.

“We’ve got a lot of prisoners who have a spouse outside the prison,” he said. “That’s not fair to them where somebody in the jail can have their spouse in there.”

Lynn said the legislation would apply to both same-sex and heterosexual couples. It would ban any individual from getting married to an inmate on prison grounds.

There were six applications for prison marriages in the last half of 2015, according to the Alaska Department of Corrections. Of those, four were approved and were between inmates and another person who was not in DOC custody.

Lynn’s bill also includes a provision that would prohibit the Department of Corrections from putting married same-sex couples who commit crimes together into the same facility.

The legislation also enforces the department’s ban on conjugal visits by putting it into law, making the ban tougher to overturn.


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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