Inmates could soon pay to stay in jail

The plan could generate between $50,000-$90,000 a year for the county.

Genesee County Commissioner Omar Sims says a plan is in the works that could have jail inmates pay for nights they spend in the jail. The idea has been tossed around for about a year.

Commissioner Sims said Wednesday that a committee will meet on February 22nd, to work out the exact details. "If you commit the crime you got to pay. I have no problem making inmates pay because right now the taxpayers are paying for it," said Sims. The plan targets only those that can afford it and who are sentenced to time in the county jail. People waiting to be arraigned will not be charged their stay. The most inmates would be pay is $50 a day. "We know that we have a narrow group or population that can afford to pay and it has to be affordable," Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell. Currently it costs $68 a day to house an inmate. Commissioner Sims said if the plan is approved it could bring in anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 for the county.Clio resident Rodney Peel said it sounds good in theory but he doesn't think it will work. "I don't think it is practical. If they are incarcerated I don't know how they are going to make money," said Peel. He went on to say he would like to see a plan where inmates are put to work. I think they should have inmates do community service and have them work on the roads," said Peel.Commissioner Sims said the plan covers that idea too. "If they can't pay they can work it off through community service," said Sims. Once a committee works out all the details, the plan will be presented to commissioners sometime in March.