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106 Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions 1 (2007-2008)
Pay-to-Stay Programs in California Jails

handle is hein.journals/mlro106 and id is 5 raw text is: 

                  PAY-TO-STAY PROGRAMS
                    IN CALIFORNIA JAILS

                       Sheriff Michael S. Carona* t


    When a person has committed a criminal offense, he or she must be pun-
ished to vindicate the law, to acknowledge the suffering of the victim, and to
deter future crimes. Imprisonment-the method commonly used to carry
out this punishment-becomes increasingly problematic when our jails and
prisons, especially in California, are bursting at the seams. As the Sheriff of
the eighth largest jail system in the nation, I am responsible for the con-
finement and care of thousands of inmates in the Orange County Jail
system. With a growing inmate population and a shortage of beds, I con-
tinue to look for new and innovative ways to house local inmates while they
serve their debt to society. Pay-to-stay jails is one method that has received
recent attention in the media. California regulations circumscribe pay-to-
stay programs, ensuring that the programs provide a useful supplement to
standard correctional strategies-and that the purported disparities that in-
form the popular conceptions of the programs are never realized.


    For some people, pay-to-stay jails conjure up a perception of country
club correctional living for affluent, influential, and privileged Califor-
nians. This belief may have been somewhat fostered by the hyperbole of a
newspaper editorial stating that pay-to-stay jails in California operate like
secret velvet-roped nightclubs of the correctional world.
    But what is ignored is that pay-to-stay jails, just like county jails, are
subject to Title 15 of the California Code of Regulations, which governs
how a jail operates. These regulations cover food services, access to tele-
phones, work furlough, rules and disciplinary penalties, inmate discipline,

     *   Sheriff of Orange County, California; Member, Emergency Response Senior Advisory
Committee for the Homeland Security Council. I have been Sheriff of Orange County for nine years
and an active member of the law enforcement community for more than thirty years. Readers may
be aware that I recently was indicted by a federal grand jury on several charges relating to actions
allegedly taken before and during my time in office. I am taking a sixty day leave of absence, but I
will return to my position as soon as I have cleared my name. This Commentary has nothing to do
with these indictments; instead it reflects lessons I've learned from my long service as Sheriff of
Orange County.
     T   Suggested citation: Michael S. Carona, Commentary, Pay-to-Stay Programs in Califor-
nia Jails, 106 MICH. L. REV. FIRST IMPRESSIONS (2007), http://www.michiganlawreview.org/
firstimpressions/vol 06/carona.pdf.

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