When a person has committed a criminal offense, he or she must be punished to vindicate the law, to acknowledge the suffering of the victim, and to deter future crimes. Imprisonment—the method commonly used to carry out this punishment—becomes increasingly problematic when our jails and prisons, especially in California, are bursting at the seams. As the Sheriff of the eighth largest jail system in the nation, I am responsible for the confinement and care of thousands of inmates in the Orange County Jail system. With a growing inmate population and a shortage of beds, I continue to look for new and innovative ways to house local inmates while they serve their debt to society. Pay-to-stay jails is one method that has received recent attention in the media. California regulations circumscribe pay-to stay programs, ensuring that the programs provide a useful supplement to standard correctional strategies—and that the purported disparities that inform the popular conceptions of the programs are never realized.
Michael S. Carona,
Pay-To-Stay Programs in California Jails,
Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr_fi/vol106/iss1/30