Sunday, April 29, 2007

5-star jails

When I saw the headline "For $82 a Day, Booking a Cell in a 5-star Jail" on, I guessed that it might be an adventure hotel. I didn't think it would be about wealthy people buying their way into nicer prisons:

Most of the programs — which offer 10 to 30 beds — stay full enough that marketing is not necessary, though that was not always the case. The Pasadena jail, for instance, tried to create a little buzz for its program when it was started in the early 1990s.

“Our sales pitch at the time was, ‘Bad things happen to good people,’ ” said Janet Givens, a spokeswoman for the Pasadena Police Department. Jail representatives used Rotary Clubs and other such venues as their potential marketplace for “fee-paying inmate workers” who are charged $127 a day (payment upfront required).

This is either the height of immorality or a brilliant method of tricking the rich into subsidizing the correctional system. Or both.

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