California’s going broke, and so they’re willing to try anything to generate revenue. However, their latest tactic has drawn huge criticism and may face litigation by the ACLU.
Prisoners at the Fremont County Jail will now have the option to pay the one-time fee of $45 plus $155 a night to stay at a smaller, quieter facility. It won’t apply to every type of criminal, but for inmates serving short sentences on lesser charges they can avoid the violent, overcrowded county jails by forking over the money.
The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is crying foul, criticizing the option by calling it a “Jail for the rich,” but it could be a much needed revenue booster for the state. It’s estimated that the city of Fremont stands to gain nearly $250,000 a year if just 16 prisoners spend 2 nights per week in the new facilities.
“It’s still a jail; there’s no special treatment,” said Lt. Mark Devine, a Fremont cop. “They get the same cot, blanket and food as anybody in the county jail, except that our jail is smaller, quieter and away from the county jail population.”
Fremont isn’t the first Californian city to try this out, and it probably won’t be the last either.
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