California prisoners in one town are now able to upgrade their digs if they’ve got deep enough pockets.
Fremont, CA recently began charging inmates $155 a night to stay in a previously unused jail. The program is pay-as-they-go and provides a few perks that might be worth the cost to a few discerning inmates.
It’s a win-win for both prisoners and the cash-strapped town.
Prior to the innovative program, the jail had been unused since being built in 2000, according to reports.
‘You do get cable TV, but you don’t get a warm cookie on your bed,’ Lieutenant Mark Devine, of the Fremont Police Department told KPIX.
Not quite a hotel, but better than the average prison, the nightly rate gives prisoners widescreen HDTV and gaming tables – cells, beds, bathrooms and showers are all standard issue though, according to the station. The city is not yet offering suites for an even higher price.
The added cost doesn’t include room service, rather the food and other treatment are the same as at any other jail.
‘They get the same treatment as the general population – same food, same bed, same phone call and TV rights,’ a Fremont Police spokesperson told ABC News.
Currently with only 54 beds, the $10million facility can house up to 96 inmates, according to the city. Inmates are split into pods that can hold up to eight inmates at once.
The program is open only to inmates convicted of misdemeanors who receive prior approval from a judge. Approval is contingent on passing a health screening, which includes a TB test, and a background check to ensure a non-violent past, according to ABC News.
Never expected to be filled to capacity, officials believe the main selling point for the added cost is the peace and quiet that comes with taking a break from the general population.
‘The only other thing you’re really paying for is the smallness and the quietness of the facility,’ Lieutenant Devine told KPIX.
That peace and quiet is expected to be a windfall for a city struggling to make ends meet. If just 16 inmates stay in the upgraded cells for only two days a week, Fremont would turn a tidy $244,000 profit annually.
‘We are the trustees of a large facility that was paid for with taxpayer money. Now we need to be good stewards of that investment and maximize its use and efficiency for the taxpayers,’ Lieutenant Devine told KPIX.
Similar programs are offered in jails in California in Anaheim, Beverly Hills and Roseville,
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2380167/Americas-luxurious-jail-California-prison-charging-inmates-155-upgrade-fancy-wing-widescreen-TV-quiet-surroundings.html#ixzz2aXNtnsgR
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