More Localities Charging For Jail Stays


Springfield, Or., plans to charge convicted criminals up to $60 a night, depending on their ability to pay, when a new 100-bed lockup opens in October, Springfield Police Chief Jerry Smith tells USA Today. The city would recoup most of its cost of about $70 a day. The recession is prompting several local governments to turn to pay-to-stay programs, says Sara Totonchi of the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights, which fights legislation that imposes such fees on inmates.

The Salt Lake County, Ut., jail charges inmates $40 each day. The Box Elder County Jail in Brigham City, Ut., costs $10 per day. Missouri’s Taney County, which includes Branson, charges $45 for a day at the jail in Forsyth. Richmond, Va., began charging inmates $1 per day April 15. The few who can’t afford that small amount can work jobs in the jail to earn the money, Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. says.

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