The US prisons turned out to be paid for. The "pay to stay" practice has been widely used in almost all of the states.
Prisoners should pay for their stay as well as for extra services they require.
A special charge is also set for entering the jail, and if an inmate has not paid the fee by the time of release, it can increase tenfold.
Incarceration comprises room, board, clothing, and doctor's visits payments.
The latest survey, in 2005, found that 90 percent of jails surveyed charged inmates fees of one kind or another. In an era of tight budget, the practice is allegedly even more widespread today.
Pay-to-stay piles on a second punishment to the sentence that's been handed down by a judge. That creates lasting, detrimental effects on inmates and their families, as well as society as a whole. It doubles the strain on inmates' families: in addition to losing a household income, they have to pay to support their incarcerated family member. And it makes it even harder for inmates to get back on their own two feet financially, after they're released from prison.
It's estimated that about 10 million Americans owe about $50 billion in debt because of fees and fines they've gotten through the criminal justice system - and thanks to pay-to-stay, some of that debt comes from prisoners having to pay for their own incarceration.
Also read: Violence in US prisons
Read article in Russian on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
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