Being behind bars apparently no longer means mean giving up on all the comforts of home. For just a few hundred dollars a night, Inmates in California may be able upgrade their prison accomodations and increase their comforts behind bars.
According to NBC News, these "pay-to-stay" jails offer amenities like unlimited access to movies, semi-private rooms, books and cable. The more flexibile prisons even offer the opportunity for inmates to leave for the day so they can work, single showers, and phone time at their leisure.
The facilities are meant for low-level, non-violent offenders. However, according to a study by The Marshall Project, 4.5% of upgraders were involved in serious crimes like sexual assault.
The flexible prison system may sound great but it creates discrimination between those with money and those without. "Those who are wealthy are able to upgrade their facilities to stay at nicer jails than those who are poor who may have committed the same exact crime," says Lauren-Brooke Eisen, senior counsel at New York University's Brennan Center for Justice.
According to a police commander at the Seal Beach pay-to-stay jail, some of the inmates have included lawyers, doctors, and Catholic priests.