Riverside County to Start Charging “Rent” to Inmates Incarcerated in County Jail

Riverside County to Start Charging “Rent” to Inmates Incarcerated in County Jail

Believe it or not it has come to this.

With every county in California doing all they can to find ways to collect “revenue” to stay above water financially, Riverside County has taken a dramatic step.

On November 8, 2011 the Riverside Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval to charging all inmates who serve time in the county jail a daily fee of $142.42 per day while they do their jail time. What this means is that if a defendant does 60 days in custody when he leaves the jail he will be hit with a bill for $8,545.20.

Many legal experts are coming forward to claim that this is unconstitutional and will be struck down. It is an open question as to what will happen if the inmate fails to pay. Will he be brought back to do more jail time? If he comes back to do more jail time will he then get another bill from the County of Riverside. Where will this end?

No other county in California has put into play a similar plan. However, many other counties are watching closely to see if the new Riverside “pay to stay in jail” law will be found to be constitutional. In the meantime before you think about committing a crime in Riverside County you better have saved up a nice sum of money in a bank account so you can pay the county for your jail stay.

Of course what this new law does is once again hurt those that can least afford it. Many offenders commit “theft offenses” because they can find no other way to feed their family. This new law will add insult to injury for those that are unlucky enough to be caught committing a theft offense. Another good question is will this encourage even more jail sentences so judges and prosecutors can help the county earn enough money to give them raises. This sure seems like it opens the door for some major conflicts of interest.

Considering the potential financial ramifications, if you are charged with a crime in Riverside County, it is crucial that you contact the Riverside criminal defense attorneys at Wallin and Klarich immediately.  Unless of course you can afford more than $4,000/mo. in rent.

What are your thoughts on this new law?