ACLU Wants Jails To End 'Pay-to-Stay' Fees

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is calling for an end to pay to stay fees in county jails. From our Statehouse Bureau Jo Ingles explains why.

The ACLU’s Mike Brickner says its statewide study of fees and costs for city and county jail stays showed a 180-day jail sentence can cost nearly $12,000.

“Pay to Stay jail fees devastate prisoners and their families.”

Brickner says those debts are turned over to bill collectors who ruin a newly released inmate’s credit, stifle their ability to get a job or live independently. He wants the fees eliminated or at least be made more affordable.

Bob Cornwell with the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association says jails need the money to operate, and that some have programs that allow inmates to reduce debt through community service but he says the cost of security to do that can be prohibitive.

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