Inmates ordered to short jail terms can choose to pay to stay in a Freemont, Calif., facility, away from the county jails of Oakland or Dublin if they’ve got some extra cash to spend.
For $155 a day, those ordered to short stints in prison can go to the “smaller, quieter” Fremont facility away from the county jail population, said Lt. Mark Devine, who oversees the program, according to The Raw Story.
There is a one-time fee of $45 and Devine reminds everyone that it is still a jail.
“You do get cable TV, but you don’t get a warm cookie on your bed.”
Potential inmates need a health screening, background check and a judge's approval to luxuriate in the $10.6 million facility, though rarely are more than a dozen inmates residing in the 58-bed facility at a time. Still, if 16 inmates stay twice a week yearly, Fremont would profit $244,000 according to Devine.
Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison applauded the police department for implementing the promising money-making program:
“I’m proud that they’re look for new ways to create revenue and are thinking outside the box.”
The option is a good alternative for those charged with misdemeanors and have a jail sentence of 10 days or less, said Devine.
The facility features an open community space with a large flat-screen HDTV and recreational tables with board games.
Others like ACLU official Carl Takei, aren’t convinced. According to The Raw Story, Takei told The Argus it is a matter of inequality:
“There should not be one form of punishment for those who can afford to pay and a different form of punishment for those who can’t.”