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Jail Charging Inmates for Meals

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Topic: Jail Charging Inmates for Meals
Posted By: tatee
Subject: Jail Charging Inmates for Meals
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:32am

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/" rel="nofollow -

Nevada County Charging for Jail Meals; ACLU Upset

RENO, Nev. February 8, 2014 (AP)
By SCOTT SONNER Associated Press

A northern Nevada county is moving ahead with what may be a first-in-the-nation plan to charge county jail inmates for food and medical care, despite objections from the American Civil Liberties Union that it's cruel and unusual punishment and could lead to a court battle.

The Elko County Commission on Wednesday approved Sheriff Jim Pitts' proposal to charge inmates $6 a day for meals, $10 for each doctor visit and $5 for initial booking into the jail, a move he says will save county taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

"Why should the people of Elko County pay for somebody else's meals in jail?" said Commissioner Grant Gerber, a backer of the plan who thinks the fees should be higher.

Tod Story, executive director of the ACLU Nevada, said that depending on how indigents and others who can't afford the fees are treated, the county could be in for a legal fight over the edict to prisoners that there is no free lunch.

"I was aghast that anyone was even thinking of doing this," he told The Associated Press. "It is unconstitutional — cruel and unusual punishment."

"There is no value in trying to punish them further than the sentence that they are already serving," Story said.

Pitts said it costs about $85 per day per inmate to cover the costs of food, services, housing and utilities at the facility with a capacity of 120 — a total of about $10,000 daily.

"We're not the Hilton," he told the Elko Daily Free Press, which first reported approval of the plan on its website Thursday. "These guys shouldn't have a free ride."

While it's not uncommon in some states for counties to charge inmates a small fee or copayment for medical care, National Sheriff's Association operations director Fred Wilson said he's not aware of any charging for meals.

In Arizona, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, famous for his crackdowns on illegal immigration and tough jail policies, has discussed the idea and is still considering it, but he hasn't instituted it, sheriff's spokesman Christopher Hegstrom said Friday.

"Elko has never been afraid of being first," Gerber told the AP.

Under the new policy, Elko County inmates will be exempt from the fees if they work at the jail or are incarcerated for less than 24 hours. Inmates ultimately found innocent will be reimbursed.

In the coming weeks, the fees will be deducted from an individual inmate's commissary account, where family and friends can deposit money for the inmate to order items such as candy, shampoo and envelopes.

Those with no money would see their account accrue a negative balance, and that balance would remain in the event the inmate was released but later returned to jail for whatever reason.

"It has nothing to do with them getting out of jail, but if they ever come back with any money, that will be applied to what they owe us," Pitts said Friday. "All I'm doing is taking my cut first, before they buy their candies. They need to pay for their food first before they get their dessert."

Pitts said the fees for doctor visits are necessary to help combat an increase in the number of inmates who appear to be faking illnesses.

"Once they hit our jail, they're sick. And then when they get into the cells they talk to each other," Pitts told the commission. "They say, 'Oh, you got aspirin for that? Or you got a prescription for that?' So everyone in that cell ... (claims to have) the same disease."

Story said the fees for food likely are more vulnerable to legal challenge than charging for doctor visits.

"Some jails charge a very minimal copayment for medical services, but it's based entirely on an inmate's ability to pay, or capacity to pay," he said. "But the food is not even a question. Once somebody has entered into the system, they become the responsibility of the state."



http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/nevada-county-charging-jail-meals-aclu-upset-22420906



Replies:
Posted By: creole booty
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:34am
Slavery in jail.


Posted By: leftywefty
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:35am
so it's cruel and unusual to make criminals pay for meals, but it's ok to starve school children when their parents can't pay?
This country is so ass backwards 
I feel for the people who were wrongly convicted, but it pisses me off that tax payers are footing the bill to feed criminals. Thanks for posting this OP


Posted By: nala52808
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:37am
Originally posted by leftywefty leftywefty wrote:

so it's cruel and unusual to make criminals pay for meals, but it's ok to starve school children when their parents can't pay?
This country is so ass backwards 
I feel for the people who were wrongly convicted, but it pisses me off that tax payers are footing the bill to feed criminals. Thanks for posting this OP

I agree wit you


Posted By: juniper angel
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:38am
They are criminals they are not going to pay you cant make them.


Posted By: creole booty
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:39am
They should give free lunches to children too. Inmates should b focusing on rehabilitation.


Posted By: ShadyLady
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:39am
So the people with no money can't eat?

I'm okay with this if people with no money can only eat, like bologna sandwiches, but people who pay get upgraded meals.

They need to cut off their cable and get rid of their gyms too.



Posted By: Lite Brite
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:42am
This is ridiculous on many levels. But I don't have time to respond in full at the moment


Posted By: ShadyLady
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:43am
I think this would increase violence in jail too.

Violent or desperate criminals with no money will probably attack others for food or money.


Posted By: liesnalibis
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:45am
Okay this is bullshyt. I could understand prison, but jail? People go to jail for all types of bullshyt.


Posted By: india100
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:52am

Not suprise . The sheriff history of slavery tatics speaks loud and clear . I am not standing for criminals . Make the people work .



Posted By: AwesomeAries
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 10:54am
I don't know why this made me laugh

Originally posted by juniper angel juniper angel wrote:

They are criminals they are not going to pay you cant make them.


Posted By: ms_wonderland
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 11:12am
there is a prison in Michigan or some other state in that region that charges an incarceration/arrest fee. if you're in the negative from previous arrests it eats up your commissary funds as well. people with negative balances would just work out ways to get things through other inmates.  one way is to have their family put the money into someone else's account.  This was on an episode of Lock Up.  it definitely caused some violence and drama b/c people can't really be trusted.


Posted By: AshBash89
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 11:31am
There's people out here working 2-3 jobs to keep food on their tables, so I'm not opposed to this.


Posted By: MissinCali
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 11:39am
I also think that when they get out they should pay like $100 a month back to the tax payers for the rest of their lives..


Posted By: lanae
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 11:58am
Originally posted by juniper angel juniper angel wrote:

They are criminals they are not going to pay you cant make them.

Right? Many are not even trying to pay restitution to their victims or child support for the babies they made before going in. This wont work.


Posted By: DiorShowGirl
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 12:07pm
WELL if they didn't do their crime guess what?? u wouldn't be in this predicament...so save ur drama for ur mama...


Posted By: Samoneisthebest
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 12:08pm
Originally posted by leftywefty leftywefty wrote:

so it's cruel and unusual to make criminals pay for meals, but it's ok to starve school children when their parents can't pay?
This country is so ass backwards 
I feel for the people who were wrongly convicted, but it pisses me off that tax payers are footing the bill to feed criminals. Thanks for posting this OP

Two wrongs don't make a right.


Posted By: f8dagrate
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 12:20pm
Originally posted by Samoneisthebest Samoneisthebest wrote:

Originally posted by leftywefty leftywefty wrote:

so it's cruel and unusual to make criminals pay for meals, but it's ok to starve school children when their parents can't pay?
This country is so ass backwards 
I feel for the people who were wrongly convicted, but it pisses me off that tax payers are footing the bill to feed criminals. Thanks for posting this OP

Two wrongs don't make a right.

This^^^. 


Posted By: newdiva1
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 12:21pm
Originally posted by ShadyLady ShadyLady wrote:

So the people with no money can't eat?

I'm okay with this if children with no money can only eat, like bologna sandwiches, but children who's parents pay get upgraded meals.

They need to cut off their cable and get rid of their gyms too.

 
 
not coming for u Shady just playing with words.  I'm not sure what I'm going for but....I think there is a point somewhere.
 
the first thing that popped into my head when I read the title (not the article) was folks talmbout criminals living it up in jail off the taxpayer dime and then that school lunch situation last week.
 
that said...is this jail or prison?  meh...I'll read the article later.


Posted By: newdiva1
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 12:23pm

is this a way to further solidify the prisoner workforce?

 
'Luminati.


Posted By: niecy
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 1:22pm
I dont see a problem with this whatsoever. More jails and prisons should do this. 


Posted By: slayfresh
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 1:25pm
isn't the debt created by this just going to roll on over to the tax payers? I know they can't let them starve to death or die of sickness.


Posted By: Sang Froid
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 1:28pm
Folks gone starve cause they got too many tickets?


Posted By: coconess
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 1:32pm
i dont care for this.. 

how much? they only make 50 cents per hour.. 




Posted By: thewonderfulwa
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 1:33pm
I wouldn't mind if I knew how much money is made with the privatization of prisons.


Posted By: nitabug
Date Posted: Feb 09 2014 at 3:11pm
I am down with this. 



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