Pay-to-Stay Prisons Have a Lock on Style

No price on freedom, but cash buys kinder incarceration in California jails
By Max Brallier,  Newser User
Posted Apr 29, 2007 4:12 PM CDT
'   (KRT Photos)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Californians convicted of minor, non-violent crimes can pony up to stay in jail cells that look more like college dormitories, the New York Times reports. For $75 to $127 a day these in-the-know inmates are separated from violent offenders and, in some cases, allowed a cell phone, laptop, or iPod.

Inmates even comparison shop between the jails, which supporters say generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for local districts. But many are baffled by California-style justice. “I have never run into this,” says an editor of the publication American Jail Association. “But the rest of the country doesn’t have Hollywood either."