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Making Criminals Pay
A sheriff got in trouble for charging inmates rent, but I say...why is it a crime, not policy?

VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) - A southern Georgia sheriff faces federal charges accusing him of billing inmates for room and board and interfering with an FBI investigation of local judges.

An indictment unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court accuses Clinch County Sheriff Winston Peterson of perjury, obstruction of justice, using forced labor and extorting former jail inmates.

Peterson, 62, pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday and was released on $10,000 bond.

Investigators say the sheriff charged jail inmates $18 per day for room and board. County officials agreed in April 2006 to return $27,000 to hundreds of inmates who paid the fees between 2000 and Peterson also used an inmate to do work at a business run by his wife, investigators say.

Okay, okay, so no fair keeping the money or taking them home and turning them into pets or anything...but why should criminals get a free ride on the backs for the rest of us? You do the crime, YOU pay to do the time, scumbag.

Posted by aalkon at November 17, 2007 10:37 AM


We love it when you're militant, but...

Y'know, nobody ever said incarceration was a good idea. It's just that nobody ever came up with anything better.

Posted by: Crid at November 17, 2007 2:40 AM

I think restitution is a fantastic idea. My car thief still owes me money for the damage he did to my car and the stuff he took out of it. Thank you, Judge, for applying a little actual justice! Unfortunately, I have to track my thief down periodically. Luckily, he put the express mail fee on the account of the business he's employed by...not a surprise, figured it out as a way to track him down, but very helpful to count on his...well, if they didn't just gift him with the mailing price...apparent recidivism!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 17, 2007 7:24 AM

At least in my state, people already have to pay fines specifically for room/board when they sent to jail. This occasionally leads to the unconscionable situation where a person goes to jail, loses their job, gets released, and goes back to jail because they can't pay the jail fees. You could end up doing 2 years on the installment plan.


Posted by: Speedy at November 17, 2007 10:58 AM

Crid, I'd suggest that a number of people have tried to suggest and bring forward alternatives and reforms, but usually get shot down by those whose best interests are served by the "lock-everyone-up" method.
An example from Amy's homestate: (another follows in separate post)

Guards union corrupts prisons, report finds.

Posted by: Jamie at November 17, 2007 1:03 PM

Posted by: Jamie at November 17, 2007 1:03 PM

My dog used to misbehave, so I kicked it and kicked it and kicked it and kicked it.
Eventually its behavior became so egregious I had to euthanize it.
Seriously, that mutt never learned. I mean, what's up with THAT?

Posted by: Gog_Magog_Carpet_Reclaimers at November 17, 2007 2:46 PM

Hey Gog, sounds like a problem solved.

The story is told that Nixon and Kissinger were talking in the White House. Nixon's dog was chewing on a small rug, and Nixon kept trying to push the dog away. The dog kept coming back, so Nixon eventually throws the dog a milk bone treat to get it away. Kissinger drolly says, "Congratulations, Mr. President. You have just taught your dog to chew on rugs."

Posted by: doombuggy at November 17, 2007 6:38 PM

Our prisons are factories for creating more criminals.
We don't turn out citizens, we turn out gangbangers.
Ten years in the joint and these guys don't come out with a college degree and a chance for a life?
What would YOU do if you had no money, no training, no chance, no job?
You'd survive by any means necessary, and if your screwed-up view of life were to lead you to excuse crime as a survival methodology, you'd commit it.
So let's stop helping them believe that they're human filth and get them off the prison treadmill.
Pink underwear? Chain gangs? Charged for being imprisoned? Are you kidding me?
Or maybe we should just execute every miscreant and bill their families for the bullet, China-style.
We can start with the pot smokers.

Posted by: Gog_Magog_Carpet_Reclaimers at November 17, 2007 8:35 PM

Gog, you've just scrolled every disproved cliche about crime and incarceration.

Tell me: is your cliche scroller battery powered, or wind up?

Posted by: doombuggy at November 18, 2007 1:56 AM

And what's the penalty for refusal to pay rent? Eviction? Do only Gog and I see the flaw in this plan?

Posted by: too funny at November 19, 2007 7:53 AM

Just 18 bucks?!? Ingham county jail charges 23 per day, while Kalamazoo charges 36. Was this a state court? (in MI it just goes on your credit)

Posted by: DuWayne at November 20, 2007 6:45 PM

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