09 March 2017

Not Enough Bullets

California is seeing the rise of for fee luxury jails:

Instead, Wurtzel, who also had been convicted of sexual battery in a previous case, found a better option: For $100 a night, he was permitted by the court to avoid county jail entirely. He did his time in the small jail in the nearby city of Seal Beach, with amenities that included flat-screen TVs, a computer room and new beds. He served six months, at a cost of $18,250, according to jail records.

Markin learned about Wurtzel’s upgraded jail stay only recently, from a reporter. “I feel like, ‘Why did I go through this?’” she said.

In what is commonly called “pay-to-stay” or “private jail,” a constellation of small city jails — at least 26 of them in Los Angeles and Orange counties — open their doors to defendants who can afford the option. But what started out as an antidote to overcrowding has evolved into a two-tiered justice system that allows people convicted of serious crimes to buy their way into safer and more comfortable jail stays.
Madam la guillotine needs to come back.


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