Prisoners in the “weekender” jail program will soon have to pay $50 a day “for the privilege of being incarcerated” in the Long Beach Jail, the City Council decided Tuesday.
At the request of Police Chief Lawrence Binkley, the council voted to recover costs of confining people under the 5 a.m.-to-5 p.m. weekend program. The fee is expected to add more than $100,000 annually to the city’s coffers.
Because Long Beach is not legally bound to accept sentenced prisoners, it can impose conditions, such as charging a fee, City Atty. John Calhoun said.
It is up to judges to decide whether someone is eligible for the weekender program, which usually applies to people convicted of misdemeanors. Indigent prisoners will not have to pay the fee.
Earlier this year, Long Beach voted to charge drunk driving suspects for emergency services incurred during any alcohol-related incident.
“Those individuals who are responsible for costing the taxpayers money in terms of operating a police department should pay their fair share,” Deputy Police Chief William Ellis said.