CA Pay-To-Stay Jails Offer Upgrades For Some Minor Convicts


For Californians willing to pay for a higher-class jail for minor offenses, about a dozen local jails across the state offer pay-to-stay upgrades, reports the New York Times. You have to be in the know to even apply for entry. Even if the court approves your sentence there, jail administrators can operate like bouncers, rejecting anyone they wish. “I am aware that this is considered to be a five-star Hilton,” said Nicole Brockett, 22, who was booked into one of the jails in Orange County; she paid $82 a day to finish a 21-day sentence for a drunken driving conviction. “It's clean here,” she said. “It's safe and everyone here is really nice. I haven't had a problem with any of the other girls. They give me shampoo.”

The Times says that for between $75 and $127 a day, some convicts can get a small cell behind a regular door, a distance from violent offenders and, in some cases, the right to bring an iPod or computer. Many overnighters are granted work furlough, enabling them to do most of their time on the job, returning to the jail simply to go to bed. The pay-to-stay programs attracted attention when prosecutors balked at a jail they said would offer computer and cellphone use to George Jaramillo, a former Orange County assistant sheriff who pleaded no contest to perjury and misuse of public funds, including the unauthorized use of a county helicopter. Said Ken Kerle of the American Jail Association: “Most of the people who go to jail are economically disadvantaged, often mentally ill, with alcohol and drug problems and are functionally illiterate. They don't have $80 a day for jail.”


Comments are closed.