In the State of Michigan, an individual is considered an adult at the age of 17 and may be held in jail. Any inmates sentenced to the State of Michigan Prison system start by serving some time in a county jail. Jails like ours, throughout the country hold diverse populations of inmates from pre-trial detainees those serving sentence on misdemeanor and felony charges to those awaiting transport to the Michigan Department of Corrections Prison system. For example, we may have someone serving time for shop-lifting or someone awaiting trial for murder.
Occasionally non-violent inmates at our facility are granted work release by the courts. If Work Release status is granted by a judge the individual is allowed to leave the facility and report directly to work daily returning to the facility after work hours until they have completed the imposed sentence. This program allows them to maintain their present status of employment, so they may return as productive citizens once released from our custody. These individuals are charged a housing fee of $21 per day. Money collected from the Work Release program is utilized by Eaton County for the provision of much needed services to our area's residents.
Inmates in our facility have access to order various items through our Inmate Commissary. Those without money during incarceration receive only legally mandated hygiene and communication materials for which they will be billed after release. The Inmate Commissary is operated in cooperation with Canteen services Inc, and is funded by sales the Counties portion of the review generated is set aside to defray some of the cost of inmate service provided for the betterment of the residents such as education programs. Luxuries like candy bars and coffee are not given to inmates; however, they may be purchased by those who have money. Other items include health and hygiene, writing and recreational items.
Cost to Inmates
Sentenced inmates at the Eaton County Jail are charged a $32 per day housing fee. Billed after they are released if they do not make arrangements to settle the debt, collection procedures are implemented. Inmates are responsible for paying for many of the cost incurred during incarceration including doctor, dentist, nurse visits and other related medical charges incurred at our facility. The goal of this medical payment and collection system, within the guidelines of the law, is to reduce the burden to the taxpayers.
Eaton County Jail also rents space to other counties when available. This generates money to the County's general fund; thereby, significantly reducing an additional burden to taxpayers.