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  1. #1
    CTR man's Avatar
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    For $50, some spend night in Roseville, CA jail

    For $50, some spend night in Roseville jail

    By Art Campos - acampos@sacbee.com

    Published 12:00 am PDT Saturday, July 5, 2008
    Story appeared in METRO section, Page B1


    Roseville Police Corrections Officer Carter Christiansen and Lori Benitez, manager of the Sentenced Prisoner Program, book an inmate into the jail. Randall Benton / rbenton@sacbee.com
    See additional images


    The Roseville Police Department has gone into the hotel business.
    For $50, a guest can spend a night in the department's jail. There is no radio, no television and no Internet. The bed is a concrete slab.

    Of course, it's not for everyone.

    It's a new program that allows low-risk, nonviolent inmates to keep their day jobs while serving their sentences at night in the Roseville hoosegow.


    "We're kind of like the Ramada but without concierge service," said Lori Benitez, correctional supervisor of the Roseville jail and manager of the department's Sentenced Prisoner Program.

    The program was started in March by Roseville police, Placer Superior Court and the Placer County Sheriff's Department, which operates the county jail in Auburn.

    The first of its kind in the Sacramento region, SPP is patterned after two programs in Southern California, Benitez said.

    The Roseville program is gaining popularity: Three inmates have completed their sentences, five are participating, and six more have applied.

    The program is open to men or women sentenced for nonviolent, misdemeanor offenses such as drunken driving or burglary. Applicants must be accepted by the court and the Roseville jail, and must serve their time during a period established by the judge.

    SPP inmates benefit because they face less risk of getting fired from a job and are able to go home to deal with family issues, Benitez said.

    "A person can come in to the jail when they get off work, stay overnight and then go back to work the next day," she said. "Some do an entire weekend in jail. The program gives people some flexibility."

    Another big advantage is that SPP inmates get 24 hours credit for each 12-hour stay, meaning a 90-day sentence can be served with 45 days total jail time. And because the Roseville jail is seldom full, they can have a cell to themselves.

    The biggest disadvantage is the $50 payment for a 12-hour stay, or $100 for a 24-hour stay, to be paid in advance.

    Jason Alexander opted to shell out the dollars to stay in the Roseville jail.

    "This was the only way I could keep my job," Alexander said on a recent day in a Roseville cell.

    The 29-year-old inmate was sentenced to 114 days for drunken driving causing injury.
    It will cost him $5,700 to serve 114 half-days in the Roseville jail, Benitez said.

    "But when you consider the alternative losing your job and having to start over it's probably worth it," he said.

    Alexander declined to say where he works but said he works from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

    He reports to the Roseville jail after work and often spends an entire Sunday or Monday there to help burn off his sentence.

    The Roseville jail, in the basement of the police station on Junction Boulevard, has 12 cells for inmates. Another six are temporary holding cells for bookings such as DUI cases, Benitez said.

    So far, only two or three SPP inmates use the Roseville jail on any given day, she said.

    The inmates can wear their own clothes during stays.

    "We have showers here, too, but most people choose to shower in their own home," Benitez said.

    Alexander said the jail time is boring.

    "I've read more books in the last month than I probably read in my whole life," he said.

    Alexander's cell has a phone on the wall, but only collect calls can be made on it.

    "I've never even picked it up," he said.

    He's allowed a toothbrush and toothpaste. The cell has a wash basin and a toilet. The jail provides him with two thin mattress for the concrete bed. He's allowed to bring his own pillow.

    Daily meals consist of jail- issued Hot Pockets sandwiches, burritos, yogurt and juice.

    "I don't ever plan on eating Hot Pockets again when I get out," Alexander said.

    Sometimes he takes a six-hour break to walk to his mother's nearby house in Roseville for a meal and shower before reporting for another 12-hour stint.

    Alone in his cell, Alexander has had time to reflect on his drinking and the trouble it's caused him. He'd done rehabilitation programs before having the DUI accident, he said.

    "I do a lot of thinking about why I'm here, mostly," he said. "I have no desire to drink again. I have a girlfriend, and we have a baby coming."

    Dee Dee Gunther, a spokeswoman for the Roseville Police Department, said money from SPP inmates goes back into the city's budget to help run the jail.

    The SPP money reduces costs that would have been borne by taxpayers, she said.

    "Since we usually have empty jail cells, the Sentenced Prisoner Program also helps us make better use of a publicly owned facility," Gunther said.
    About the writer:

    • Call The Bee's Art Campos, (916) 773-2825.


    Benitez stands in the doorway of one of the cells where low-risk, nonviolent offenders can book a stay for $50 a night. Only two or three SPP inmates use the jail on any given day. Randall Benton / rbenton@sacbee.com



    Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.

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  2. #2
    pgg's Avatar
    pgg
    pgg is offline Damnit, I'm hungry again.
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    That would never work here. The county jail is constantly ORing felonies because their isn't enough room. When someone with a misdemeanor is being an ass we will sometimes have them transported to county then cited and released there. Then it will take them hours to walk back.

  3. #3
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think this is some special program that the city of Roseville is doing. As for Sacramento County, it probably wouldn't work either. Armsmaster would probably know the scoop on that one.

    As for where you are at, PGG. That will teach the boys and girls not to be asses, right?


    Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.

    Not a LEO

    In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
    In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.









  4. #4
    oldtrooper is offline Rookie
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    We ship our prisoners to the county jail and have a written agreement which pays the county for housing and feeding. The agreement also specifies that the county will have them back for court in our building if they haven't bonded out by then.

    Our judge can sentence a misdemeanor to serve X amount of time in jail and he can allow them to do this on weekends. They report to our holding facility late Friday afternoon and are released Sunday night. In effect they spend their week-ends in jail. I can't say it decreases the amount of offenses but at least it's not as easy as just paying a fine.

 

 

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