Regular visitors to the Fourth Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix were distraught Saturday night when they found signs posted about a new visitation policy.
“Effective Monday, Nov. 5, the 4th Avenue Jail will only be accepting regular visitation on Sundays,” said signs posted on the doors to the jail’s entrance and throughout the lobby. A similar message was recorded and posted on the jail’s phone system.
Current visitation hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day but Friday.
A deputy inside the jail confirmed the new policy but referred questions about the change to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Capt. Paul Chagolla.
Chagolla was upset to learn of the postings Saturday night, and he called them the result of a “miscommunication.”
“The fliers were posted in error,” Chagolla said.
He said there had been discussion about changing the visitation policy at the jail, but no final decisions had been made and no authorization had been given to post the notices.
But for a few hours Saturday night, visitors were distressed nonetheless.
“It ain’t even right,” said Crystal Medina, 23, of Phoenix. “People have to work.”
Medina said she’d bailed someone out of jail earlier in the day, and the signs weren’t posted then. She said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio “tries to make it as inconvenient as possible for everyone.” She complained about the jail closing early Saturday night. The doors were locked at 7:30 p.m.
Yolanda Hubbard, also of Phoenix, wondered about how bad the visitation lines would get and how difficult parking would be on the nearby streets if visitors were only allowed to see inmates one day a week.
“I just think it’s just crazy,” Hubbard said.
Chagolla said he was sure the signs would be removed.
ABC 15 News contributed to this report.