Cost of Crime Going Up in Josephine County, Especially for Offenders
When an offender is convicted of a crime, he or she may pay the price of going to jail, but the citizens of Josephine County pay the price for that offender’s food, lodging and medical care. Sheriff Gil Gilbertson feels that system is unjust.
“Why should a person be victimized twice?” said Sheriff Gilbertson to the Board of County Commissioners on December 3. “They are victimized once by the actual crime and then a second time when they have to pay to lock up the offender.”
As such, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office has opted to implement a Pay-for-Stay program at the adult jail; the program takes the cost accountability for crime and places it where it belongs:
According to state law, the Sheriff’s office may seek reimbursement from convicted inmates for each day they spend at the jail and for any medical services rendered.
This program comes at no cost to the Sheriff’s office, because the BCC voted to approve a contract with an outside company that will incur all of the labor expenses associated with billing.
As an incentive, persons who pay their full bill within 30 days of release will receive a 50% discount on the total amount due. If an account is delinquent for more than 90 days, the billing company has authorization to forward it to a collection agency.
The Pay-for-Stay program will not only offset some of the community’s financial burdens, but also is intended to decrease crime. When repeat offenders know there will be a financial cost for their actions, they may think twice.