Glendale jail cell is pay-to-stay

Inmates at the Glendale city jail more than paid for the cost of their incarceration in 2012, anteing up roughly $96,000 to stay at the facility.

The facility's pay-to-stay program, which allows certain inmates to serve out short court sentences for $85 per day, generated $96,475 in 2012, up from $67,995 in 2011, according to Glendale Police Department reports. The program has earned $1.6 million since it was established in 2008, helping to offset operational costs at the jail.

"I don't feel that burden should be placed on the taxpayers," Jail Administrator Juan Lopez said, adding that inmates "should pay their own way."

As the program's earnings increase, more arrestees also paid the jail's booking recovery fee. Everyone who is booked at the jail must pay $135 to cover the costs of being processed.

City officials collected $37,640 in booking fees in 2012, roughly double than what was collected through the program in 2010.

Lopez attributed the rising revenues to keeping costs reasonable.

Inmates, he said, often "shop around" to find jail facilities with the best rates. Inmates from San Diego to Ventura have paid to stay at the Glendale jail, citing its affordability.

"They don't offer anything more or anything less," he said of other facilities.

For $85 a day, prisoners sleep in separate quarters from other inmates, have access to phones, showers and day-room areas. But they must also perform laundry and janitorial tasks inside the jail. They also receive two cold meals and one hot meal per day.

Women and men are also housed separately.

Burbank and Pasadena police departments operate similar pay-to-stay programs, but at a higher day-rate.

After a brief suspension, the "Weekender Jail Program" program at the Burbank Police Department will return April 8 on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays, Lt. Eddie Ruiz said. The program costs $100 in cash per day and inmates must not have any medical problems, he added.

Inmates must also pre-register days beforehand.

The Pasadena Police Department charges $140 per day for its "Fee Paying Inmate Worker program."

Inmates who select the program must also pay a one-time $63 administrative fee and assist in various chores, including laundry, trash cleanup, food preparation and light cleaning.


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