Inmates Can Pay for Luxury Cells in Seal Beach Jail

Inmates must apply and go through an interview process before being admitted to the upgraded cells

By Ron Rokhy
|  Thursday, Aug 1, 2013  |  Updated 4:11 AM PDT
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Inmates Can Pay for Luxury Cells in OC

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Inmates are being courted by an Orange County jail that is offering flat-screen TVs, brand new beds and other luxury items not often found behind bars.

The Seal Beach Detention Center, which was shut down in 2007 due to its poor financial health only to reopen a year later, is charging inmates between $100 to $120 per day to indulge in their pay-to-stay program.

For a daily price, inmates can enjoy brand new beds, flat-screen TVs and media centers, according to an ad placed by the deparment in LA Weekly (pictured below).

The pay-to-stay program is expected to rake in $400,000 for the jail, according to the 2013-14 Seal Beach Adopted Budget. The jail gets $720,000 from the city to operate.

The program was created to offset the expenses of street arrests, according to a spokesperson for the Seal Beach Police Department.

Inmates must apply and go through an interview process before being admitted, according to the city’s website.

There are no specific criteria that determine who gets accepted and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, the spokesperson said.

Those accepted are housed in cells that have TVs with cable, but are not in a different part of the jail, officials said. Inmates may not watch TV after lights out, which starts at 10 p.m.

Additionally, inmates in the program may work outside of the jail wearing a GPS tracking device, if approved by the city court, according to the city's website.

The detention center can house up to 30 inmates.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article erroneously attributed comments about the Seal Beach Jail's new program to Sgt. Steve Bowles. Bowles has not commented to NBC4 about this story.

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