|"Sorry dude, I'm broke."|
In an effort to save approx.$3-$5 million annually, the county plans to start charging some of the 60,000 prisoner's that pass through Riverside's jail every year. Since most criminals by nature are broke, the county figures they can at least snag a few here and there who might happen to have a job, they figure roughly 25% of all those incarcerated can be forced to pay, which could at least off-set some of the cost.
The board of supervisors made the decision after the county's lawyer determined that this type of reimbursement is legal under state law. But this is not a blanket decision. The county will review the reimbursement requirements of prisoners on a case-by-case basis, and make determinations based on their ability, or inability, to pay.
Other states are trying to cope with budget cuts and prison systems as well;
Washington state corrections officials are considering leaving unsupervised thousands of former prisoners currently on parole in an attempt to cut costs, according to the Seattle Times.
Thousands of prisoners in Texas have been eating two meals a day on weekends since April in a bid to save the prison system money.
In Camden County, Georgia, officials mulled the idea of sending prisoners to work as firefighters to cope with budget woes.
Criminal defendants already carry a huge financial burden as a result of their arrests and convictions. Requiring them to pay for their incarceration will further impede their ability to return to their community successfully. Has the Board considered the cost of collection vs. the actual amount that will be collected?
And you know collection agencies will be all over these folks, which means their credit will be ruined, and in some states people are now being jailed for not paying a debt. This sounds like an endless loop system, where some dumb chump enters, getting a weekend in jail for a petty crime, and comes out the other end being thrown back into the system for inability to pay.
Meanwhile, not one rich bankster has spent a single day in jail for helping facilitate the economic crisis.
And what's the penalty for not paying, more jail time? Additionally, some inmates are incarcerated through no fault of their own, these are the accused who are never brought to court or who are actually innocent of the charges. Are you going to expect them to pay as well?
For the rest of the 99% of America, Justice means...
just-is, as in take it or leave it.