December 12, 2007

Pay-to-stay jails critiqued

Have you heard of pay-to-stay jails? They're quietly appearing around the country, in communities with enough affluent scofflaws to support their existence. For a fee, criminals can stay in more comfortable lockups with better food, access to cell phones, and other cushy amenities.

The current issue of the Michigan Law Review's First Impressions series focuses on this latest example of the ever-increasing disparities between the rich and the poor in the U.S. criminal justice system. The thought-provoking articles – all available online - include:

Pay-to-Stay in California Jails and the Value of Systemic Self-Embarassment by Robert Weisberg, Stanford Law School

It Could Happen to "You": Pay-to-Stay Jail Upgrades by Kim Shayo Buchanan, USC Gould School of Law

The Dirty Little Secrets about Pay-to-Stay by Laurie L. Levenson, Director of Center for Ethical Advocacy at Loyola Law School Los Angeles and Mary Gordon

Government Entrepreneurship: How COP, Direct Supervision, and a Business Plan Helped Solve Santa Ana's Crime Problems by Police Chief Paul Walters, Santa Ana, California, and Russell Davis, Jail Administrator, Santa Ana

Why the County Jail Is Often a Better Choice by Shawn Chapman Holley, private practice attorney

A Virtuous State Would Not Assign Correctional Housing Based on Ability to Pay by Bradley W. Moore, JD Candidate, University of Michigan Law School