The American Civil Liberties Union is criticizing a new policy that requires Alabama prison visitors to have their fingerprints scanned.
David Fathi of the ACLU's National Prison Project tells the Montgomery Advertiser (http://bit.ly/TbxlpG ) the new rule is "extreme."
Fathi says no other state has such a requirement. He says it's a barrier to people visiting state prisoners.
Prison spokesman Brian Corbett says the policy began last month as the department upgraded its computer systems.
Corbett says scanning the fingerprints of prison visitors allows officers to verify that people are really who they claim to be. Prison officials also require visitors to present identification cards, but they say that method isn't foolproof.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.