Posted by Jeremy Shulkin
It’s Thursday, which means there’s a brand new Worcester Mag on the stands today. Our cover story this week is about inmate fees–charging prisoners in county jails a $5/day fee while they’re in jail, among other fees for doctors visits and medical prescriptions.
The House and Senate each passed bills (attached to the FY11 budget as amendments) regarding the measure, which reached a committee who would have been charged with reconciling the two and readying a final version to go back before the House and Senate for a final vote.
Except after we went to press yesterday that committee dropped the amendment, and instead replaced it with “a special commission to study the feasibility of establishing inmate fees,” explains Jim Pingeon, a lawyer with Prisoners’ Legal Services.
This is bad news for inmate fee proponents. It delays any momentum for the measure until March 1, 2011 when the results of the study are due. On the flipside, Prisoners’ Legal Services, which is against the measure, now has a larger say in the matter because the language in the FY11 budget mandates that a representative from that group serve on the commission.