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Paying for Your Incarceration

jail-cell.jpg In at least two counties in Utah, if a person is incarcerated for a misdemeanor that results in a jail sentence, that person will be presented with a bill after their time has been served. What is the bill for?


As reported in this Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) article, Utah County and Cache County are billing inmates for their room and board to offset the cost of housing them. This applies only to people convicted of misdemeanors and not most federal crimes.

In general, county governments have to pay for incarcerating misdemeanants, while the federal government picks up the bill for federal crimes. Faced with budget problems, these counties decided to have the inmates pick up some of the cost.

One thing we can all take away from the article is this: if you’re planning on committing a misdemeanor that may result in jail time, do it in Utah County, where your stay will cost only $10 per day. In Cache County, you'll be billed $43 per day. Not good if you’re serving a 30-day sentence.

Jail May Start Charging ‘Rent,’Daily Herald, May 3, 2007 (Provo, Utah).

Image from bradleyjames's Flickr stream


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