State prison officials say that starting this weekend prison visitors will have to have their index fingers scanned.
However, there are some who feel this is just another way for the government to intrude on their lives. Visitors must already give their telephone number, address, Social Security and driver's license number, and sometimes even submit to a background check.
Prison officials say that one reason for the new measure is to positively identify visitors. This will also help streamline the process because each time a visitor goes to a different prison, they have to re-register.
"If I haven't committed a crime, why do you need my finger prints?" Paul Robbens said. "Then they get this...what else do they want? Where does it stop? Where does the intrusion stop?"
Alabama Department of Corrections spokesperson Brian Corbett says that the fingerprint scans will not be used to serve warrants.
"This is not a means of us trying to catch more bad guys. If wanted to do that already have a means of doing that, this not designed for that purpose," Corbett said.
Some think the new system is a great idea.
"I think it's a very good thing. I don't feel it's an invasion of your privacy to me. Wouldn't bother me might bother other people. But wouldn't bother me at all," Roger Smith said.
Corbett says the system will scan visitors' index fingers two or three times and enter the information into a database. Whenever they return for visits, all they will have to do is have their index finger scanned and they can be quickly and positively identified.
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