Davis County to begin repaying inmates who were part of ‘Pay For Stay’

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DAVIS COUNTY , Utah – Inmates in Davis County who had money taken out of their jail accounts to pay for lodging and medical expenses will get their money back.

The Davis County Commission approved a resolution Tuesday declaring the county’s intent to repay money taken in the controversial “Pay For Stay” program for several years without a court order.

A judge ordered the Davis County Sheriff’s Office to stop the collection method back in April of this year, and now inmates are being reimbursed.

Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings has reportedly said the county has started issuing reimbursement checks, although it’s unclear how many people are eligible for reimbursements.

A family member of an inmate spoke to FOX 13 News about the issue back in April and registered their disapproval with “Pay For Stay.”

“If I put money in for my son to buy food, he won’t get it,” the family member said. “It’ll go to his bill, which frustrates me because when I specify where it goes that’s where it should go.”

Rep. Paul Ray, R-District 13, defended “Pay For Stay” back in April.

He said: “They’re giving them money to buy treats with, to buy commissaries, all these extras in the jail, and the county is saying, ‘No, wait a minute. You have a debt to society that you’re gonna pay before you buy those Twinkies.’”

Related story: Utah judge orders a stop to jail’s ‘Pay for Stay’ collection methods


  • Innocent people in jail

    They aren’t extras since many people in jail are actually innocent poor people who plea to crimes they didn’t commit in order to avoid longer prison sentences and lengthy court cases they can’t afford and longer prison sentences their families can’t afford to have them away for. I know one person who was with me when they were accused of a crime so they couldn’t have committed the crime but phone testimony would not have been enough since several witnesses including a liar of a police officer said they saw the commit a crime they were no where near the scene of. They pled guilty on advice of the attorney who pointed out that they could spend 6 months to a year in jail with a fine or years in prison if they fought the charge. The family wisely chose a guilty plea to get on with their lives quicker.

    That family deserved to have every dollar they gave their family member to go to their innocent loved one. This among other injustices opened my eyes to how evil our criminal justice system is.

  • chekwriter

    maybe some, but not not all. It costs some states over $25,000 a year for each inmate. Most are given work to do. They Should pay their fair share. What ever the per cent may be. Defray the costs. Budget cuts affect every thing.
    NO, I do not agree have X Boxes, Gym weight lift equipment, Color TV’s. Fancy food. Should go into their account and be deducted to reimburse the costs. THEY DID THE DEED, they should pay for it. NO one told them to rob, murder, mugging, molest,
    Was NOT in their contract when the signed on.

    We who are on the outside, same thing. NOT IN OUR CONTRACT OF LIFE. We ALL have to pay the piper.

    If family member wishes to make a donation towards the account, then YES it would be subject as well.

    After all, they were just as responsible for that person’s behavior, in most cases, (father/Mother)
    Had they said NO more often. Had paid more attention to what they were doing, keeping track of them. Making sure they go to school. Did heir home work, etc. Participated with them in their activities. etc.

    Given them the love that they so needed.

    Had they given them a hit upside their head, might have knocked some smarts into them. What is RIGHT and WRONG.
    Sure got it in my home, and you see what I am? and where they are?

  • hmchick

    For the jacka*s who said that the money is to buy Twinkies, the inmates have to BUY a pillow, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, medication, deodorant, and the list goes on and on. The whole issue is that the commissary money is GIFT money given to them by family members. The jail has no right to take that. Bill the inmates and assess the money at sentencing as a fine, but the money they were taking did not come from the inmates.

    • AnotherBob

      I have to pay for my soap and toothbrush HMVHICK. There’s something wrong with expecting folks in jail with providing for their needs just like everybody eles?
      Of course if they live off of welfare taking care of their own needs may be a novel idea.

      • Gee

        They are doing their time so that would be double jeopardy by making them pay for room and board. It is not a Holiday Inn.

  • Ivan

    So a criminal with good connections on the outside that pays enough to pay off the for profit prison gets all they need but the innocent guy that got a public defender fresh out of law school deserves to have the money his mother sent him for a toothbrush pocketed by the company that runs the prison?

  • Ivan

    Some of the prisoners that are locked up deserve much more punishment than we can give but the only reason to steal money from friends and family of the convicted is pure greed.

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