Tuesday, April 09, 2013


Do the Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena jails give AARP discounts to their paying guests?

Bob Walsh says: “Life is like a shit sandwich. The more bread you have, the less shit you have to eat. (Heinlein, I think.)”

Seriously though, it seems to me that we might have a Fourteenth Amendment ‘equal protection’ under the law issue here.

By Veronica Rocha

Los Angeles Times
April 7, 2013

Inmates at the Glendale city jail didn't just pay their debt to society 2012. They also paid about $96,000 to stay at the facility.

For $85 a day, prisoners sleep in separate quarters from other inmates, have access to phones, showers and day-room areas. But they still must perform laundry and janitorial tasks inside the jail. They get two cold meals and one hot meal a day.

The pay-to-stay program generated $96,475 in 2012, up from $67,995 in 2011, according to Glendale Police Department reports. The program, established in 2008, helps to offset operational costs at the jail.

"I don't feel that burden should be placed on the taxpayers," Jail Administrator Juan Lopez said, adding that inmates "should pay their own way."

In addition, everyone who is booked at the jail must pay $135 to cover the costs of being processed. City officials collected $37,640 in booking fees in 2012, roughly double the amount collected in 2010.

The Burbank and Pasadena police departments operate similar pay-to-stay programs, but charge a higher daily rate.

After a brief suspension, the "Weekender Jail Program" program at the Burbank Police Department will return April 8 on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays, Lt. Eddie Ruiz said. The program costs $100 a day. Inmates must not have any medical problem and they must preregister days beforehand.

The Pasadena Police Department charges $140 a day for its program plus a one-time $63 administrative fee.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I am in complete agreement with the following comments by Jeff ‘Paco’ Doyle:

Notwithstanding the financial gains realized by Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena, there is something fundamentally offensive to our Constitution when anyone is permitted to buy their way out of being jailed along with the great unwashed.

Does the need to generate municipal revenue trump fundamental fairness? Should the well-to-do be allowed to buy softer digs simply because they can? Will they also be given the option of improved probation supervision with complimentary coffee service and free Wi-Fi in each office?

Much as Paco dislikes the myriad of laws and regulations flowing from the State Capitol, I say it’s time for legislation banning this practice. It’s all well and good to have offenders pay for the cost of their incarceration but not when it is done for a premium.

No comments: