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Monday, April 2, 2012

Pay to Stay in Jail?

Community: Coming Soon - "Pay to Stay" program at the Fremont Detention Facility.

On Tuesday, March 20th, Fremont City Council approved the creation of an alternative confinement "Pay to Stay" program at the Fremont Detention Facility.

The Fremont Police Detention Facility, located at 1990 Stevenson Blvd., was built in 2002. The jail is the largest Type 1 facility in Northern California, with an overall capacity of 96 inmates and is the only one constructed with a direct supervision floor plan. The maximum time an inmate can be held in this facility is 96 hours. Historically, the entire capacity of the facility has never been used, and capacity rarely exceeds 30 inmates at one time. The facility has five housing pods with a total of 54 beds. Because the facility is not used to its full capacity, Police Staff researched and proposed an opportunity to utilize beds for revenue in an alternative confinement (“Pay-to-Stay”) program.

A Pay-to-Stay program allows a sentenced misdemeanor defendant, at the direction of a judge, to serve his or her sentence in a local facility, for a charge, rather than in the county jail. The Fremont Detention Facility can offer a Pay-to-Stay program for a recommended charge of $155 per day plus a one-time
administrative fee of $45. No increase in staff is needed to provide this program and the only increase in expenditures would be meals and laundry at less than $10.00 per day per participant. Pay-to-Stay programs are common in Southern California, but are currently non-existent in Northern California. This program is one of the recommendations in the Council adopted work plan that resulted from the 2011 Strategic Sustainability Study.

We anticipate the program will formally begin in May. While initially opening the program only to defendants convicted in Alameda County, the City may choose to open this alternative confinement program to other counties as well, at some point in the future.

Let me know what you think - your comments below are welcome.

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