Orange County's Seal Beach jail offers posh, $100/day accommodations to rich crooks


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/11/rich-wife-beaters.html


#2

That’s cheaper than a nursing home. So let’s see what crime I can do…


#3
  1. Find Orange County Jail.

  2. Kill every uniformed person you find there.

  3. Rinse and repeat.


#4

I’m torn. One one hand, it’s super shitty that inmates who can’t afford to pay are subjected to horrifying living conditions. On the other hand, it’s kind of a clever way for the jail to make up for budget shortfalls. If only they were using the revenue to upgrade the whole system to be more humane…


#5

equal justice for all…better quality equal justice if you’ve got the cash


#6

It is shitty. Really shitty. However I don’t have any moral reason to prevent people from serving time access to comforts. I am a huge proponent of rehabilitation, not punishment.

So two bits of anecdata.

Oscar Wilde was basically killed by his time in hard labor. That is a humanitarian disaster, and if I could have contributed to a more humane judgement monetarily I would in an instant. Of course it is a little too late.

Virtually every male family member I have has served. None of them came out better. So again, if paying a premium for humane treatment and rehabilitation is what it takes… Well, I’ve seen the other side. And it is dark.

Noone, and I mean noone should have the weight of incarceration that is typical in the US. And this comes from me, a friend of http://kval.com/news/local/convicted-killer-defiant-in-face-of-2-life-terms-this-is-not-a-murder-case, who murdered Anne, my University Dean.

Commissary items, phone calls, you name it, can come close to this price tag. I think the last time I checked a phone call was billed at $7 a minute.

I shouldn’t get worked up. But if I ever get locked up, I guarantee you I’ll max out my credit cards and pay $100 a day.


#7

And of course to overshare a bit more, I know exactly how a DA could pop me. They wouldn’t want to, but they could, Aaron Schwartz style.

Fuck, if $100 a day could have saved Aaron, it would be worth it. Fair? Of course not. But criminal justice is rarely fair.


#8

Some countries would consider this equal punishment.They figure that since rich people lead a better life ordinarily than poor, if they were all put in the same jail the rich would suffer a larger drop in living standard. It makes some perverted kind of sense.


#9

Next we want an article about the $1000 per day jail.


#10

“TV’s”.

Sigh.


Pedantic protest posts!
#11

“equal under the law”

meh heh heh heh heh snort heh heh heh cough wheeze heh.

Thanks once again to Phil! Are! Go! whence I got this.


#12

Spot On !! Just wait 'til Monsignor Trump returns to work on Monday and hears this . . . .

NOTTT…

But: I wonder if this isn’t some way to get the rich to finally do their ‘due time’ instead of paying tens-of-thousands of $$ to lawyers to keep delaying their trials in hopes that the cops or witnesses, etc. will just give up?


#13

I really don’t understand this concept. It feels intensely backwards, as in an implementation of Hammurabi s laws. We have this system precisely because the legislative, judicial, and executive processes are written and guided by flawed human beings. And the process of figuring out how to rectify the I consistent nature takes work and effort, which isn’t free.

A fairer system could be more public defenders; a closer focus on rehabilitation; better prevention; clearer legal language; and better monitoring of public servants.


#14

Completely shitty and they aren’t charging nearly enough. If you’re that horrified by the thought of doing the time in real jail, you at least need to give till it hurts to avoid it.

So. How much per night would be enough? If it’s $1000 a night does the system now incentivize jailing the rich regardless of daddy’s fancy lawyers? Will white collar criminals be overflowing from the OC’s elite facilities? Is that a bad thing or just a thing?

I can’t help cracking a grin at the prospect.

All the same, if I had to be behind bars I’d beg to pay extra and avoid real jail. I sometimes work in real jails/prisons and they’re mighty depressing.


#15

Better to get rid of the “paying tens-of-thousands of $$ to lawyers to keep delaying their trials in hopes that the cops or witnesses, etc. will just give up” some how. Without breaking justice in half, that is. I have absolutely no idea how to do that.


#16

As I said yesterday, rich people do not go to prison. The people who benefit from this are above the median income.


#17

Hey, I wonder if I could buy a couple nights’ worth of vouchers and give 'em to some dude over in the regular cell block?


#18

Yes, if only. But what is definite is that ‘punishment experience’ and how that feeds into the concept of justice can simply be modified by kicking in cash. Equal justice… out the door.


#19

From the article:

Jack said he was thankful for the pay-to-stay option. Between his stint
in county jail and in Seal Beach, he said he’d learned enough of a
lesson for this time, his third DUI, to be his last.

Why do I get the feeling that, no, it’s not going to be his last.


#20

A few thoughts:

  1. The luxe conditions described are notably worse than the standard conditions accorded to a prisoner in Norway, according to coverage of Breivik. It’s worth keeping in mind that a lot of the hardships and deprivations our prisoners (our many, many prisoners) endure aren’t really there to save money - the savings are laughably small - but as punishment. And: there’s remarkably little evidence punishment works. Meanwhile, some services that genuinely promoted rehabilitation (educational services in particular) have been taken away so as not to accord “special treatment” to inmate.

[quote=“monkeyoh, post:4, topic:96808”]
One one hand, it’s super shitty that inmates who can’t afford to pay are subjected to horrifying living conditions. On the other hand, it’s kind of a clever way for the jail to make up for budget shortfalls. If only they were using the revenue to upgrade the whole system to be more humane…
[/quote]I seem to recall a Mexican (or was it Colombian?) drug lord who was allowed to build his own prison, in which all of the inmates would be treated far better than in a standard prison. The drug lord was of course treated best of all, and was able to continue his business and to escape at will, so it wasn’t a perfect implementation of your idea. But it was a start …[quote=“japhroaig, post:6, topic:96808”]
Commissary items, phone calls, you name it, can come close to this price tag. I think the last time I checked a phone call was billed at $7 a minute.
[/quote]One of the regulatory changes the Obama administration was implementing was intended to end (or at least to curb) some particularly exploitative telephone charges for inmates (via the FCC, if I recall, rather than via Justice). The Trump administration canceled that move extremely quickly, even though limiting inmate contact with their families probably increases recidivism and the money was all or nearly all going into private pockets. See also the Trump administration canceling the Obama DOJ’s banning the federal use of private prisons; on that issue, I hope everyone has read Shane Bauer’s account in Mother Jones of his four months working as a guard in a for-profit prison.

  1. As several people have noted, the truly rich or well-connected don’t face harsh conditions anyway - they go to minimum-security prisons designed for middle-class white-collar criminals, and that’s if they can’t swing probation or House Arrest. Or, like Don Blankenship, they can kill dozens of people for profit, rig an entire state’s politics, fight all the way to the Supreme Court, be given complete freedom of movement within the country under their bail conditions, and only eventually face a short stay in prison.