Forcing People To Pay For Being Locked Up Remains Common


At $249 a day, Connecticut has the highest pay-to-stay rate in the country.


Across all 50 states, states and municipalities charge children and adults for their incarceration. Some states sue incarcerated individuals for the total cost of incarceration, often ranging from $10,000 to over $400,000 in civil court. Nonpayment of these costs allows states to seize a person’s assets, including “an inheritance from a deceased family member or spouse, pension funds from previous employment, veterans and disability benefits, even tax refunds or personal injury settlements.” This article details how Connecticut politicians shifted the tax burden to incarcerated people as the cost of incarceration grew. Although the state has reformed many aspects of the legal process, including limiting solitary confinement, making it easier to clear criminal records, and removing fees for in-prison phone calls, their pay-to-stay systems are still in place.

You can read the full text here

April D. Fernandes, Brittany Friedman, and Gabriela Kirk
Washington Post