Charge Inmates To Stay In Jail? Riverside County Eyes $5M Revenue Boost

RIVERSIDE (CBS) — If you do the time in Riverside County, you better have the dime to pay for it.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports that’s the driving sentiment behind one Riverside County supervisor’s efforts to charge jail inmates for their time in custody.

Supervisor Jeff Stone introduced an ordinance this week seeking reimbursements for the cost of jailing inmates that an estimated $143 dollars per day.

Stone told the Riverside Press Enterprise the county could reap as much as a $5 million windfall from the move.

If an inmate is unable to cover the costs, the county would put a lien against any real property they may own.

“And we have probably about 25 percent of people that do white-collar crimes in this county, and those are the ones that are going to be put in the county jails, they’re going to be required to pay for their costs,” said Stone.

Stone also hoped to charge a fee to all visitors to county prisons, but lawyers argued such a move would be unconstitutional.

  • bletch

    So how long before they start arresting folks for just about anything? Just so they can try to put a lien on more houses

    • Christopher Cross

      Yeah and how about charging your family for the bullet they shoot you w?

      • none

        Sounds good to me…

    • G3Ken

      It’s just more extortion by the authorities. Imagine you get locked up on some phony, bs charge. You are ultimately acquitted. What do you think the odds of you getting your money back or the lien taken off your property.

      Aside from that, it punishes those better off, making the police more likely to target them than someone with no resources. Let the revolution begin.

    • Bruce Brinkmann

      Shelby County in Tennessee has been charging jail time fee’s for quite a while. I know it was $26 a day 15 yrs. ago. I don’t know what it is now.

      • Htos1

        Nassau co.,Florida does the same thing,due to a boomer base five minutes north of here.There are only two in the world.

      • Jeff B

        Clark County, WA does the same

    • Klaus

      We are fast degenerating into a Prison Planet.

      • RawHide

        Wow, Americans are so stupid. More than half the planet would not put up with this.
        Obey the law, pull their funding, shrink their size to tiny.

    • Fair Justice

      You’re late, they already arrest minorities for everything and when they foul up on your charges out of excitement, the DA adds more charges that “sound” probable, the public pretenders convince you, with scare tactics, to plea bargain so no one has to work and then you’re sentenced. This idea is NOT going to generate more revenue because the ones being locked up don’t have income or property and with a criminal record they won’t be acquiring either anytime soon, as long as they live in Cali.

    • gk

      You nailed it and the liberals that run that town would do it. How about charging the city leaders and officials a fine for overspending the budget and causing the deficit? They can afford it from the high salaries they force taxpayers to pay.

    • D'Terian Theodorius Jackson IV

      They are already doing it today. Fines and community service are a huge source of income and labor for counties now. Drug tests and “psychological” tests are also mini-profit centers. It’s called graft. That’s why cops no longer exercise good judgment. Their job is to put you in jail The prosecutor’s job is to get a conviction, right or wrong, good judgment notwithstanding.

      • The Truth


        Funny stuff.

        The ol’ Reich Wing “if you haven’t done anything you have nothing to worry about excuse” Yeah.. NOBODY has ever been falsely arrested before.

        Really wish you wind up behind bars for something YOU haven’t done, and then be charged for it to boot. Then we’ll see where your lil’ ol teabagged-ism’s are at then.

        When are you TEAop lemmings going to get it through your 3 brain cells that DETERRENCE doesn’t work?

        Yeah, build more jails huh Tony, but not in your neighborhood, right?

      • Kalen Smith

        Tony: How about getting charged with a crime you didn’t commit? Because that never happens right? I’m sure innocent people actually get their money back too.

      • Tony Frudakis

        Dont steal, beat or kill and you have nothing to worry about. Public safety trumps the right of criminals to commit their crimes with “constitutional protection – why doesnt anyone whine about the unconstitutionality of an innocent victim being violated? Murder, theft and general mayhem plague innocent people to an excessive level because we in this country are in love with our criminals. This needs to change. Build more jails, longer sentences, more claw-backs/disgorgements, and charge the inmates. Why should innocent tax payers – the victims of these criminals – have to pay for the incarceration of those criminals? In addition, charging them adds another layer of deterrence (though I realize deterrence as well as incentive are concepts liberals cannot seem to grasp). The charge should scale with the violence of the offense as well

      • baconknightt

        I’ve been around that sort of thing. A bad marriage, a wife that accuses you of ‘abuse’ . With such ‘crimes’ the man is left defending himself after being presumed GUILTY before innocence. The end result was going for a year to “Intervention” program that was state sanctioned. The people there charged $50/session and had you once a week. For $200/month you had to go and admit you’re an a-hole, that you’re violent, that you always will be so you best just be alone and punish yourself.
        IN the end, I was acquitted, But since the court DEEMED me guilty first before innocence, I was out several thousand dollars.
        THE STATE and its infinite wisdom. HA!

    • Just me

      Hey Don Ingram,

      I agree and I vote that we make you the test pig for the program; I recommend that we do a 6 month background investigation on you; I’m sure with all the insane, maniac laws that these psychotic monsters and fascist corporate law makers make, I’m sure we can dig up at the very minimum a 1 to 2 year misdemeanor for ya. I say we go for the maximum 2 years to ensure the success of the pig test program. After your two year incarceration and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees get back to us with a report on how it worked out for ya.

      • Jeremy Harding


    • J_Ruben_Kincaid

      Give them the cell for free. Charge them for food and utilities if they want those things.

      • getmikey

        I can agree with part of this! Give them the cell for free. Charge them for food. AND let them send out for pizza if it can be arranged in an orderly manner, as that also provides jobs and/or income to the county where the jail is located.

        But the utilities should be paid for by the State.


        The State needs the electricity on in order to keep the jail cell closed.

    • joebanana

      They already do that.

  • Ze Forte

    Since when has local government cared about the Constitution of the United States let alone anyone’s human rights? I say fire the @#$%heads that proposed the law and put in someone that can protect our rights and freedoms!

    • Denver

      What IS your problem? Taxpayers have to pony up the cash to house and feed the moral degenerates that end up in jail. If there is a way to get the inmates, or their families, to pay, I’m all for it.

      • CrashJPMorgan

        Jail sentences are WAY WAY to long for small offenses. This is what is bankrupting the police forces and the USA in general. In Canada we don’t prosecute people for marijuana possession.

      • Hammer

        You are an idiot who has no idea what these families go through. They are treated as a criminal but have broken no law, they are the only ones who have no advocate in the system (even the criminal is given an attorney, 3 hots and a cot, and medical), they pay for a crime most of them did not commit nor have any choice in. They deal with the legal fees, they lose their income, lose their housing, usually with children. My church works with these families who are abandoned by the felon, by their family, by their friends, and by their community. Dump on the criminals all you want, but leave these families out of it. If you worked with the young children of these families who are traumitized by what has happened and yearn for affection and stability, you wouldn’t be such a neanderthal who never gives a second thought to those unfortunates who want to do right but are caught in the middle. Grow up.

      • Steven

        The problem with it Denver is the potential for abuse. Look at what Supervisor Stone said” it could reap a 5 million dollar windfall.” Now with how cash strapped these county governments are this could and believe it will be used as a tool to increase revenue not to enforce justice. That is what the criminal justice system is for not a way for the county to make money. Look at all the corruption we have already when it comes to government and money. Now you want to let the government profit off of arresting and sentencing people to jail.Instead of just writing a traffic ticket they will just take you to jail, more profit to make. Remember any traffic offense is an offense they can take you to jail for and I’m sure all you ,everybody in jail is a degenerate types, have once in your life broke a traffic law. This is dangerous and with things like hate crime laws where preaching certain scriptures from the Bible in Canada and Europe can get you arrested the potential for tyranny is there. Wake up people this is an idea that can be exploited to control are lives.

      • Just me

        Hey Denver
        Yea, it sounds like a great idea until they pass a law making breathing illegal, but then I’ll guess you’ll be the lone idiot complaining about the crime rate going up.

      • Jeff

        So Denver, I read about a guy that got his conviction overturned after serving 17 years in prison. The DNA evidence was overturned because of gross negligence in handling the samples (a child could have done a better job) and they finally allowed his multiple witness alibis to be represented in court so basically he was without a doubt always innocent. If your argument holds true then the state should pay him for every year of salary lost with interest and inflation and more importantly pay for his pain and suffering for having to live with criminals for 17 years and losing the chances lost to him such as maybe a wife and children.

    • brad

      and if you are not a property owner then what?

      • molly

        Welfare will pick it up and fill in the gaps.

      • baconknightt

        Then you become a slave to the state. They will put you on a “work program” where you do odd jobs for the state without earning a wage. Instead the state “pays” you, but then confiscates the wages to “pay your debt”.
        Josef Stalin would be proud of what the USA is becoming.

    • T. JENSEN

      if your a criminal getting arrested YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS OR FREEDOMS you gave those up when you decided to be a DIRT BAG

      • Holms

        Actually you have plenty of rights and freedoms. Otherwise you are guilty before proven innocent and that would be unconstitutional.

        People like you that that are devoid of all logic, reason and accountability are the ones that put innocent people on death row.

        Defend the constitution and you have no problems. Peonage is unconstitutional and eternal debt is peonage. The statute of limitations is what protects you from that.

      • greg

        ever hear a paper called the Bill of Rights?

      • Tx Jack

        Thats assuming everyone is well versed in the law and hasnt implicated themselves or made a deal before going to trial. I dunno if you realize how badly most PD’s are hurting for cash right now and have resorted to dirty tactics.

      • Klaus

        And if you are found not guilty by the jury, the dirt bags who prosecuted you shall be charged the cost of the wrongful prosecution and a lien placed on their personal assets. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Checks and balances keep the system fair.


        yeah for real youre the dirtbag for thinking everyone in jail is actually guilty. HA!

      • Justin M Kohutiak

        just wait till a cop turns you into a dirt bag because hes a dirty rotten PIG.

        lets see how OKAY you are LOSING YOUR RIGHTS.

      • D'Terian Theodorius Jackson IV

        Right T. Jensen. You haven’t met a bad cop yet. You will someday. Get back to us then, dirt bag.

      • avid.flyer

        Your asking for them to make everything against the law which would allow them to arrest just about anybody. This should scae you the fact they have to charge $143.00 dollars a day should tell you how expensive it it so keep a person in jail. At that price you could stay in a very nice hotel Thats $4,441.00 dollars a month or $52,950.00 a year to take care of an inmate so thats how much they are paying for the gaurds not the buildings or all the support groups needed to care for these people. This tells me our freedom is up for sale. I remember when many of the laws we have now were not even on the books, My randfather didn’t have a drivers licence untill he was 67 and that was in 1977, The public is being groomed to accept this stuff thats unconstituional soon your freedoms will be taken away and it will cost you to get them back. This is not a good ideal. Think about when the IRS makes a change on tax laws and at the end of the year you owe $5000.00 due to no fault of your own your having the max taken out of your pay check now you have to go to jail for owing the $5000.00 because the goverment changed the laws in mid stream and now you have to pay $143.00 a day till you pay the $5000.00 you owe with interst while you are in jail. How would you do that? Be cafeful what you ask for you may get it.

      • baconknightt

        Ok, wait till you accidentally commit a crime like scream at your neighbor and get arrested for creating a disturbance. You then get sent to jail, (GASP, you are now a dirtbag).
        SO, by your reasoning anyone who has ever committed a crime is now a dirtbag and doesn’t deserve their rights at all, EVER?????
        JOSEF STALIN would be proud of you. No wait, HUGO CHAVEZ would be proud of you.
        OH, you who is so pure and clean. YOU who has never uttered a bad thought or hurt anyone else. IT must be so great to be so self righteous??? IS your name really JESUS CHRIST by any chance?
        AND even if someone does commit a crime, read the CONSTITUTION. NEITHER FINES NOR EXCESSIVE BAIL SHALL BE IMPOSED. This came from a time when ‘criminals’ were charged so much they’d never be free. THAT or they’d end up in the workhouse (slavery).

      • Clay

        What if your innocent getting arrested? Cops are the dirt bags.

      • Just Me


        What Rights & Freedoms are you referring to? You mean the one’s ensured by the Patriot Act and endless Presidential Executive Orders?

      • truther

        so what your saying is never in the history of all time has anyone been wrongly accused of a crime, i can show several DNA acquittals that proves beyond 100% that the person accused and placed in jail never committed the crime… just wait your time will come.

  • ieguy

    I thought I’d seen ever sick, insane and totally asinine idea that could possibly come out of some of our elected reps, but this one – I admit – goes beyond anything anyone sane could come up with. Also, I second Bletch’s comment.

    • Denver

      Steven, CA does have a problem; Union goons have taken over the prison guard jobs. And they lobby the legislature on what should be crimes and how long the sentences should be. Job security and all that.

      But charging room and board, for felons, is a marvelous idea.

      • Duane Fezler

        Charging room and board is already happening in Arizona. The DOC confiscates 30% of the inmates income, as they are required to work at the State approved employers. The inmates are paid $.15 to $2.00 an hour while collecting market based pay rates from the employer, thus making a profit for the State on the back of the inmate. They also charge for their “orange attire”, food, electricity, and “personal hygiene” items including toilet paper and tampons.


    Hmmm, it’s a strange concept. After all, these people didn’t decide to be put in jail, it wasn’t their “choice” (even if one argues that they knew that their illegal actions could lead to jail eventually.) while I certainly think that something needs to be done about overcrowded and expensive jails, perhaps there is a better alternative? Allowing inimates to work while in prison, which would constitute as their pay? Aren’t there work programs in some prisons?

    • TJAX

      Hmmm perhaps not throwing ppl in jail for petty drug charges longer than child rapists would help too.

      • truther

        how about not making prisons a privately owned for profit center, thats a real problem everyone seems to gloss over.

  • Justified

    This politician is a Nazi. Just about anyone can be put in jail from murder to jay walking.

    I’d be very wary of this mans intentions in regard to charging inmates. Again, with government agency’s trying to increase their revenue, it’s only a matter of time before they start knocking on your door.

    “You do the crime, you serve the time”- END of story. No putting these extra clauses into what’s already a horrible time for people. People need to leave jail so they can lead a productive life, and with these clauses it only complicates a persons life so that they feel alienated that a system is working against them.

  • Steven McCune

    If you’re in jail and not working, how are you supposed to pay $143 a day? What will they do if I don’t pay it? Put me in jail?

    • John Sheridan

      No, but they COULD get a judgement on anything you own, anything you would ever earn or any government benefits you might get after you get out. Why should tax payers cough up money to keep dangerous people where they can’t hurt anyone. While $143/day seems way over what it costs, inmates would have to work for anything but basic subsistence. If you want more than bread & water or MREs.

      • baconknightt

        Because moron, the vast majority of ‘criminals’ are NON-VIOLENT. THEY are whats called “MALA IN SE” crimes. Crimes with no victims. AS opposed to “MALA PROHIBE” crimes, where there are victims.
        UNFORTUNATELY, the state is claiming their money on the backs of inmates. BUT if these inmates were thieves who stole from people, do the people get their money? OR is it just the state getting theirs? If thats the case, then the state is inclined to accuse people of crimes just to make money.
        I’ve had my house broken into, my car, I’ve been assaulted. AS a victim do I get any compensation? OR just the state? THERE is huge potential for abuse here.
        A STATE AGENCY accusing people of crimes, just so they can get money out of you. HOW long before YOU get accused of something ?

    • S. Schut

      Read the article. He points out that it is the white collar criminals that spend time in the county jails. The other criminals do their time in the state or federal pen. The white collar criminals usually have plenty of money.

      • Steven McCune

        I did read the article. I was talking about the other 75% that weren’t white collar. And so what? How are white collar criminals supposed to make money behind bars???

  • zoe

    Why not? We, the taxpayers are footing the bill. Nothing else in life is free, why should jail be. Great idea!!!

    • Locke

      It’s good to charge people $143 a day to be enslaved?
      You’re crazy.

      • mephistofan

        Has it occurred to you that the enslavement is self inflicted? Have you ever heard of that old fashioned concept of self-responsibility?

      • Justin M Kohutiak

        cops are evil and ruining peoples live with lie, curruption and the system is run by the cali correction union, so there whole goal is top put more people in jail, and now they want to charge people money for there curruption?
        you people who are okay with this better be nazi’s cuz this is a STAZI thing not an american thing.

      • Jai

        I agree

    • Jeff

      Exactly, I agree. I’m 42 and have never had a cop plant something on me just to arrest me. Seems like the majority of the people commenting here have had a run in with the law and are scared it may happen again lol. Don’t do the crime and you don’t have to worry about the time, or the bill :-)

      • Rob

        Welcome to fantasy land Jeff. In the real world, especially where there is an incentive to arrest someone like this law, everybody is a suspect. This will be abused so bad. Note how they’ve already singled out “white collar” workers as the ones to put in the county jails. They’ll be checking your credit before they decide your sentence. This is reason to resist arrest. Don’t go to Riverside.

      • Steven

        Do you know how many laws are on the books out there? I’m sure Jeff that you have broken a law before. Have you ever broken the speed limit? Even by accident. You would be surprised at the laws they have on the books that are not enforced but believe this when these governments need money they will start enforcing them. I’m not opposed to law enforcement but I see the potential for abuse with this one. Taking away someones freedom is bad but to take away possibly everything over a simple misdemeanor is excessive. Another thing we already have bills e give to someone for committing crimes and they are called fines.

      • Jeff

        Ok, Rob and Steven, you make good points. I guess I would like to think that this law would be a way of recouping some of our tax payers money but at the same time, if there are cops who abuse the traffic laws with speed traps I guess this would open the door for abuse as well.

    • Steven McCune

      Well then if I’m paying $143 a day, at least the food better be slightly better!! :)

    • Anonymoose

      Because the state imposes incarceration on the individual. If you do not understand the issue of the state vs. the individual, you are a misguided person. Sorry about the paying part, but as you noted why should it be free?

    • mike


  • Jen

    This is one of the BEST ideas to come about in a long time. As taxpayers, we ALL have to foot the bill for those who are in jail or prison. I think it’s a great idea to have the individuals actually doing the time foot their own bill, each and every one. It’s about personal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions. Every county should follow suit.

    • Locke

      It’s called slavery. It’s tyranny, it’s police state.
      It’s a bad idea. It’s used to steal property for the state, redistribution.

    • CrashJPMorgan

      No no no Jen, sentences are determined by the judge and not by politicians or bureaucrats and so imposing a lifelong financial fine may not be at all what the judge wants so would all the armchair Nazis here go back to school and learn something about the 3 branches of government and how they operate? A daily fine to rent a jail cell would easily be constituted as cruel and unusual punishment. It reminds me of the dark ages when people were jailed until they could pay back their debts which usually would be never.

  • Joe

    Dude, for $143 a day, they better have cable on each cell plus internet WiFi.

    • Steven McCune


    • Jai

      I agree, you can get a hotel room cheaper than that amount

  • Charging Prison Inmates For Doing Time? | Wayne's Worlds

    […] Well, a supervisor in southern California has come up with an intriguing idea, according to a CBS TV station in Los Angeles: […]

  • Marlon

    Good luck with that one, ha ha ha what are you going to do if they don’t pay put them in jail what a joke idiot liberals.

  • Randal Flagg, Jr.

    This is what happens when an idiot gets its hands on a calculator.

  • Jair Xezi

    This violates the Eighth Amendment to the U. S. Consitiution: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

  • Fanny Forbes Franklen

    “The last official act of any government is to loot the treasury.” ~ George Washington

    —————– ————–

  • whazup

    ’bout time

  • Sleep Junkie

    And what if the inmate refuses to pay for being jailed? What then, you gonna put em in jail? LOL What an asinine idea.

    • T. JENSEN

      no just confiscate their cars, houses and anything else of value till the bill is paid

      • Duane Fezler

        People like you, who trust their governments to do the right thing, are the reason why we have such an intrusive and all powerful class of rulers that are confiscating our lives now. Gonna vote for Obummer again, T. Jensen? READ THE CONSTITUTION, MORON!

    • 1900innoho

      Make him work his ass off to pay – that’s how. There are ways to get funds from people. You sound like a liberal……I can just here the ACLU a knockin’

      • gk

        “There are ways to get funds from people.” Are you in the mob? If government can charge for involuntary jail fees, then the jailee can charge the government back for lost wages and finincial consequences incurred while in jail. Works both ways.

  • Wyatt Kaldenberg

    So, a man is unemployed and robs a 7/11 to pay his bills. He gets 1,000 days in Riverside. When he gets out, he can’t try to get his life together because he owns Riverside $143,000. How many 7/11s will he have to rob to pay for his jail times? Talk about an increase in crime!

    • Don Padelford

      I live in a town with 16,000 population and only 2300 registered voters. This says alot per trying to collect jail fees. The thing is the last I heard this little town had 3 million out in unpaid fines ! Why do they not go after these unpaid fines ? Because the city only gets 15 % of the collected monies and the rest goes to the state to give away to undeserving entities? Makes it much more unlikely that such a program would work !

  • 1900innoho

    Let’s get Los Angeles County to do the same!!! We’re sick of paying to house these criminals. MAKE THEM PAY – and loving the lien on their property. Write your representatives! Let’s make this happen statewide.

    • Steven McCune

      If you’re such a wonderful Republican (oh I’m sorry, should I not assume that like you did with Sleep Junkie being a liberal, how rude of me…..) then you would care about the Constitution. Like Jair pointed out: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

      • Ziporay

        Please tell me just who should pay/ the hard working waitresses, shoemakers, cab drivers, salespeople who work all over the country who can barely pay their bills because of such high taxes? If you are going to object, that’s your right, but you owe us an explanation who should pay for these criminals.

      • Denver

        Paying for your daily bread id neither a fine, nor is it bail, nor is it unusual.

  • Billy

    Except if you’re illegal. Pretty hard to put a lien on foreign assets. So, American citizens are charged for their prison time and illegal immigrants are not. Sounds about right.

    • Steve Congdon

      That’s why they have to have this charge – to pay for all the llegals perks. They wouldn’t dream of making it illegal to be an illegal immigrant, they would rather figure out a way to make Americans come up with more money.

  • cindy

    COMEON EVERYONE simple concept DON’T GET ARRESTED AND YOU WILL NOT GET A BILL it really is that simple

    • Justin M Kohutiak

      just wait till the cop plants evidence on you. lies about something you didnt do. or you fall into a “homeland security checkpoint” well see how your whisle blows then.

      call me to pay your jail bill!!!

    • Steven

      OK Cindy next time you get pulled over for a traffic violation I hope they take you to jail. Now doesnt matter if the officer made a mistake that can be handled at the court hearing. You are probably one of those types that when you get pulled over yells at the cop and mistreats them demanding they not write the ticket. You think you are better than everybody and are ignorant of how the system really is. This has the potential for widespread abuse and for someone like you it will take you becoming a victim to an officers mistake before you realize that..

  • Billyllyly

    What’s hilarious is that if you are imprisoned mistakenly you are only paid a fraction of that. Spend time in jail wrongly accused and get minimum wage minus taxes. Otherwise you pay them 3 star hotel rates. LOL

  • John McGraw

    #143 per day? Now there is the real fraud.

  • Don Padelford

    This would be interesting and seems to be possibly another political fiasco ! Using this money to balance a budget is like filling a bottomless bucket with water. How do you collect these fees? And if not collected just throw them back in jail ? Seems to be alot of ” I owe you’s ” which do not necessarily translate into cash ! Only a politician could come up with something like this.

  • Cogitator

    The people who are the big problem will not pay, and they own nothing to attach.

    People who have assets will be reduced to nothing. An 180 day sentence is $25,740.

    This is an insane idea.

    • Huggybear

      If you don’t have the money to pay, you can always declare bankruptcy. It’s a fine of sorts…it’s not that bad…but the price is outrageous. The $143 covers the cost of the overpaid union workers at the jails/prisons in California.

  • Thomas Jefferson

    Goes to show that these psychos don’t care about the Constitution and laws of the United States.

    They can’t legally do this. In fact, it’s criminal.

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