Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pay In Advance To Retreat: Part 2


OK, in all fairness I need to post about this. After all, we had a small catfight in Shrink Rap land over the issue of Sheppard Pratt's Retreat program. Now it's my turn to eat my words. Let others rage as they may, I promise to shut up and take it.

This just in from the New York Times: Booking a Cell in a 5-Star Jail.

Apparently Orange County has a number of facilities where selected inmates can pay anywhere from $82 to $125 dollars a day, in advance, to be housed in a nice clean safe single-cell facility where they are allowed to have cell phones and/or computers and where people can bring them hot meals. Dinah, have I got a jail for you.

Inmates are allowed to leave during the day to work but are required to have small jobs within the jail to keep the place clean. Proceeds from the "pay-in-advance" upgrade program go to underwrite the costs of other county facilities.

So what do I think?

I think it's a win-win for both sides. It spares the custody staff from having to protect high-profile defendants from the general population of gang members and it provides indirect benefit to the general population. Is it discriminatory? Sure. But if they were in gen pop they'd also be discriminated against---by the inmates themselves.

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Or for the truy adventurous, you can stay in the Ottawa jail hostel. For those who believe a jail should be a hostel environment.