Californians convicted of non-violent offenses that dont mind adding a “tip” to their time served can now upgrade their accomodations for the duration of their stay. “I am aware that this is considered to be a five-star Hilton,” said Nicole Brockett, 22, who was recently booked into one of the jails in Orange County. Her 21-day stay for drunken driving cost her a little under $2ooo but in exchange she recieved access to an iPod and a laptop computer.
It seems some inside the system see the inequality inherent in pay-to-stay jails. “It seems to be to be a little unfair,” said Mike Jackson, the training manager of the National Sheriff’s Association. “Two people come in, have the same offense, and the guy who has money gets to pay to stay and the other doesn’t. The system is supposed to be equitable.”