Today the bay state’s House of Representatives pushed through, 106-51, a very interesting and curious piece of legislation . If approved by the Senate, then inmates throughout the state can expect to be fined $5 every day that they are behind bars.
Though the funds generated are intended to help ease the state’s budget crisis, let’s play devil’s advocate by viewing this bill from the inmates’ POV. Consider, if you will, the prospect of facing another 4 – 5 years in jail before your time is finished. On top of having to deal with the social repercussions of having been imprisoned (which the Department of Justice points out increases the likelihood of recidivism), you now have to pay several thousand dollars (a little over $9,000 for a five year sentence) for having served time. This new fee is also in addition to the fines that you have already paid or are in the process of paying, which were initially associated with the offense. If this is what inmates with short sentences are facing, what about those who have much longer sentences, like life imprisonment? Are you feeling scapegoated?
Keeping the DOJ’s official position in mind, do you think that this legislation should become law? Is this legislation possibly unfair? What is your opinion?