A new Michigan law that allows municipalities in Oakland and Wayne counties to charge prisoners for jail stays will provide welcome financial relief, reports the Detroit News. Police departments often foot the bill when they hold prisoners in local lockups before transferring them to a county facility. In budget-tightening times, police departments would prefer to use such funds toward expenses.
“I concur with this,” Southfield Police Chief Joseph Thomas said. “It’s cheaper to put them in Yale than to hold them in jail.” Under a law signed April 5 by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a city, village, or township in a county with a population of 1 million or more can seek up to $60 a day or the actual cost of an inmate’s incarceration, whichever is less. Thomas said it costs Southfield about $150 a day to hold a prisoner.