Minnesota Supreme Court limits fees f...

Minnesota Supreme Court limits fees for jail inmates

There are 14 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Dec 4, 2009, titled Minnesota Supreme Court limits fees for jail inmates. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

In a decision that affects several Minnesota counties, the Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that jails must stop charging inmates for room and board prior to their convictions.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

Reform laws

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Dec 4, 2009
Reform the laws that are placing so many in jail to begin with. We have the highest percentage of prisoners in the world. There seems to be a rash of sexual offenders (male and female) lately. Can we stop going after non-violent drug offenders and place more of an emphasis on the types of crimes that clearly have victims? There seems to be a severe lack of oversight for these sexual predators once they are released.

Since: Nov 08

Saint Louis, MO

#2 Dec 4, 2009
Except for those rare millionaire inmates, charging people for being in jail is a bad policy. One, it makes it more difficult for them to straighten out once they are out of jail, should they be so inclined. Two, it creates a conflict of interest if authorities start looking at inmates as a source of revenue. Would you feel like this issue of your pre-trial confinement was fairly decided if the government stood to make $20,000 a year if they kept you in jail (assuming you looked like a good credit risk). And for all their talk about how it is unfair to the taxpayer for them to pay to confine criminals (or those accused of crimes), have you ever heard of taxes being reduced to reflect that income. It just means more money for the sheriff's department.
Good Ruling

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Dec 4, 2009
Good ruling by the Supreme Court. The law enforcement bureaucracy in this state is totally out of control.
ABS

Minneapolis, MN

#4 Dec 4, 2009
I don't think that charging inmates is a great idea. However, I disagree with this ruling. If the "time already served" is part of the sentence, I don't see why it should be excluded from the bill.
I am not sure I agree

Minneapolis, MN

#5 Dec 4, 2009
When he was sentanced, did the time he had already served (prior to conviction) go towards the senatancing time (go retroactive). If it did then he should pay. I bet they will be cleaning up that law very soon.
Agreed

Minneapolis, MN

#6 Dec 4, 2009
Jeff Maloney wrote:
Except for those rare millionaire inmates, charging people for being in jail is a bad policy. One, it makes it more difficult for them to straighten out once they are out of jail, should they be so inclined. Two, it creates a conflict of interest if authorities start looking at inmates as a source of revenue. Would you feel like this issue of your pre-trial confinement was fairly decided if the government stood to make $20,000 a year if they kept you in jail (assuming you looked like a good credit risk). And for all their talk about how it is unfair to the taxpayer for them to pay to confine criminals (or those accused of crimes), have you ever heard of taxes being reduced to reflect that income. It just means more money for the sheriff's department.
I agree. The conflict of interest is severe. Prosecutors will be pushing harder than ever for convictions so that they financially are "off the hook" for housing inmates. What a disastrous policy that could turn out to be. I am glad the Supreme Court saw this and ruled appropriately. The law enforcement bureaucracy is getting much too large and seems more and more like what American revolutionaries fought for their freedom from- taxation at every turn. When you are "taxed" for going to jail, you know we are in trouble as a nation.

Since: Jul 08

Location hidden

#7 Dec 4, 2009
ABS wrote:
I don't think that charging inmates is a great idea. However, I disagree with this ruling. If the "time already served" is part of the sentence, I don't see why it should be excluded from the bill.
This might be one of the great points of this debate. I agree, if you are sentenced to time already served they should be able to charge for that time.
Von Mises

Minneapolis, MN

#8 Dec 4, 2009
I am not sure I agree wrote:
When he was sentanced, did the time he had already served (prior to conviction) go towards the senatancing time (go retroactive). If it did then he should pay. I bet they will be cleaning up that law very soon.

Agreed. If they are subsequently convicted or plea out, then the presumption of innocence is gone.

Not so sure the liberals in the legislature are all that eager to do anything that hurts convicted criminals, though.
Casual Observer

Saint Paul, MN

#9 Dec 4, 2009
Charging offenders for time spent in jail is absurd.

If the criminal has money they simply post bail. If they don't have money then they sit in jail all the time racking up a bill larger than the bail they could have posted if they were a decent credit risk.

So much for being considered equal under the law with the local sheriff's departments in Minnesota. Growth in this type of behavior is very revealing about how government types act vs what they say. They think for themselves and not society. I can't wait to be charged to sit in a hospital waiting room to get my Pelosicare.

The decisions surrounding holding a person in jail should have everything to do with if they are a risk to society, and nothing to do with their financial condition.
Agreed

Minneapolis, MN

#10 Dec 4, 2009
Von Mises wrote:
<quoted text>
Agreed. If they are subsequently convicted or plea out, then the presumption of innocence is gone.
Not so sure the liberals in the legislature are all that eager to do anything that hurts convicted criminals, though.
Do we wish to be "tough on crime" or "smart on crime?" The former has proven, time and again, that the more punitive we make infractions of the law, the more expensive the criminal justice system gets. Criminal justice spending is greater than that of education in many states. Sounds like a sure-fire way to ensure "customers" at the prisons to me.
Would you be in favor of reviewing the laws we enforce in this nation? Jim Webb and the Senate are doing just that presently. I sure hope they come up with some meaningful reforms that do away with the harms of some laws, namely the drug laws.

“I am always right.”

Since: Oct 09

Former MN Taxpayer

#11 Dec 4, 2009
Well, this is a no brainer. It isn't as if the person decides on their own to stay at the local jail until the court date.
K Bar

Delano, MN

#12 Dec 4, 2009
IrishMN wrote:
Well, this is a no brainer. It isn't as if the person decides on their own to stay at the local jail until the court date.
Then who, pray tell, helped you with this response?

“I am always right.”

Since: Oct 09

Former MN Taxpayer

#13 Dec 4, 2009
K Bar wrote:
<quoted text>
Then who, pray tell, helped you with this response?
Now that was a good one. Well done my friend.
K Bar

Delano, MN

#14 Dec 4, 2009
IrishMN wrote:
<quoted text>
Now that was a good one. Well done my friend.
Thanks! I amaze myself sometimes.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Stearns County Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Man Arrested In Deadly Home Invasion Near Madelia (Jan '17) Feb '17 The TRUMP of Trolls 3
At&t Background Check (Nov '16) Nov '16 Tom 2
News Missing Wisconsin Woman Last Seen in St. Cloud (Jun '16) Jun '16 fulltimesweety 1
News Stearns sheriff's sergeant faces new charges in... (Sep '10) Jul '15 Tommy 10
News Alligator causes scare, then a laugh, in Minnesota (Sep '14) Sep '14 Mitt s Airtight D... 1
News Boy injured after jumping out of car during chase (Jan '14) Jan '14 Lee 1
News Stearns County teen, mother arrested in scuffle... (Apr '11) Aug '13 E Proudfoot 39
More from around the web