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Clarifying pay to stay law

Published (6/1/2010)
By Mike Cook
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A new law clarifies the intent of legislation enacted in 2002.

Effective Aug. 1, 2010, all the time a person is in a county jail, workhouse or correctional or work farm, on any sentence is subject to the pay to stay law.

A sheriff is permitted to charge an inmate the cost of room, board, clothing and other correctional services; however, the state Supreme Court ruled in December 2009 that the pay to stay provision does not extend to days spent in jail pre-conviction because statute used the term “offender,” rather than “person.”

The law also requires local corrections agencies to waive payment of the costs “if the officer or sheriff determines that person does not have the ability to pay the costs, payment of the costs would create undue hardship for the person or the person’s immediate family, the prospects for payment are poor, or there are extenuating circumstances justifying waiver of the costs.”

Some counties do not require inmates to pay for staying; rather they want the offender’s money to go toward other things like child support or restitution.

Rep. Dave Olin (DFL-Thief River Falls) and Sen. Pat Pariseau (R-Farmington) are the sponsors.

As a way to fill their jails, the law also allows a county or regional jail to enter into agreements to house offenders from other states. Extradition rules will not apply to those prisoners, and the sheriff or regional jail superintendent “has the express authority to return the offender to the offender’s state of origin upon request from the appropriate authority in the offender’s state of origin.” This comes from HF3410/ SF2973, sponsored by Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Red Wing) and Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red Wing). This section is effective May 14, 2010.

HF3038/ SF2709*/CH318

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