Welcome to the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PAY-FOR-STAYTM PROGRAM

NOVEMBER 9, 2015

   

The Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio has collected more than a half a million dollars in the past five years under its pay-for-stay™ program which has been forwarded back to the participating jurisdictions.  This comes after CCNO and other jails in Ohio have been publically questioned about the practice by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU.)

The CCNO board approved the pay-for-stay™ program back in June 2009.  This included contracting with Intellitech, a Youngstown, Ohio company that specializes in assisting this type of collections program.  It should be noted that less than 1 percent is actually collected and if a former inmate fails to pay, there is no additional jail time or further legal action taken.

Any Ohio county jail that operates a pay-for-stay™ program -- pursuant to a federal court consent decree -- is permitted to advise each inmate who is booked into its respective county jail, that the inmate has the option, but not the obligation, to pay a booking fee of $100 upon incarceration. This booking fee, if paid, shall be deposited into a trust account established for pay-for-stay™ for the benefit of the inmates who elect this procedure and may be applied to the inmate's pay-for-stay™ obligation upon conviction. If any inmate is not convicted within 180 days of booking, the entire $100 booking fee shall be repaid to the inmate out of the trust account.  CCNO also charges inmates the daily per diem rate for each day they were incarcerated.

Intellitech maintains all funds collected in the trust account. Intellitech ensures availability of funds for individuals entitled to refunds. Normally this is those that are found innocent of their charges.  Intellitech keeps a percentage in the trust account in an amount equal to 10% of all the funds collected on a monthly basis per calendar month.

A consent form is used whereby the inmate during booking is advised, and acknowledges that he was advised, that he has the option, but not the obligation, to pay the booking fee, and he agrees to pay it, and the money is held in trust for the inmate, then CCNO is in compliance with the federal consent decree.     Prior to release each inmate is presented with a bill.  Ohio law allows for jails to collect certain costs from convicted inmates.

Ohio Revised Code §2929.37 (A) allows the costs of confinement which may include, but are not limited to, the costs of repairing property damaged by the prisoner while confined, a per diem fee for room and board, medical and dental treatment costs, the fee for a random drug test, and a one-time reception fee for the costs of processing the prisoner into the facility, minus any fees deducted under section 2929.38 of the Revised Code.  The amount assessed under this section shall not exceed the total amount that the prisoner is able to pay.

Ohio Revised Code §2929.37 (E) states “Any reimbursement received under this section shall be credited to the general fund of the treasury of the political subdivision that incurred the expense, to be used for general fund purposes.”

Ohio Revised Code §2929.38 (B) states “Fees received for medical or dental treatment or services shall be paid to the commissary fund.” 

Pay-for-stay™ is used by 40 of the Ohio’s 75 full-service county jails and across the U.S. collecting booking fees, a daily fee or both. Judges who sentence inmates to CCNO have such an option.  In 2009 the CCNO board was looking for a way to reduce expenses and hold convicted criminals accountable.  The practice began at a time when CCNO implemented a hiring freeze and made cutbacks in the amount of $800,000.

When CCNO started the pay-for-stay™ program the per diem rate was $67.77.  The 2015 per diem rates stands at $68.76.  The daily rate is based on the CCNO budgeted per diem rate and will be adjusted yearly according to the approved budget.

CCNO Executive Director Jim Dennis stated, “Judges can and do declare offenders indigent.  When that occurs, the bill is uncollectable.  Nothing is sent to credit agencies to adversely impact one’s credit rating.  No one is threatened and no one is returned to jail for not paying their jail bill.”

Attached is a listing of pay-for-stay™ program funds collected from 2010 to 2014.


Page last updated November 09, 2017