The dirty little secret is out: people with more money get a better deal in our criminal justice system. Anyone who has spent more than a nanosecond in this system knows it to be true, yet that does not make it right. It is an abomination to divert our attention to pay-to-stay programs instead of finding the resources to improve our general jail facilities to make them tolerable for every inmate. Don’t get us wrong—if we suffered the misfortune of being arrested, we would dearly love the opportunity to pay for a private jail facility. However, the pay-to-stay initiative is unlikely to do anything other than mask the problems in our correctional facilities. Pay-to-stay programs should only be endorsed if a serious commitment is first made to improving the overall conditions in correctional facilities.
Laurie L. Levenson & Mary Gordon,
The Dirty Little Secrets About Pay-to-Stay,
Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr_fi/vol106/iss1/18