News Columns & Blogs

Raise pay for inmate work

Sedgwick County District Judge Phil Journey asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to consider a bill that would allow indigent jail inmates to work off their court costs and fines at the rate of $5 an hour by volunteering to work in the community, a Topeka Capital-Journal editorial noted. It's a fair-minded suggestion that could save taxpayers money and help the community. Currently, inmates are only credited $5 a day for community service, which means that a person would have to work a long time to pay off a large fine. As a result, many indigents choose not to do community service and to stay in jail, where taxpayers foot the bill.