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Calif. Jail Pushes New Pay-to-Stay Program

Officials at the Fremont Police Detention Facility are hoping to entice inmates with a new Pay-to-Stay program.

For $155 per day with a one-time fee of $45, those receiving brief sentences for misdemeanors in Alameda County courts can opt in to the program in order to avoid larger, rougher jails in Oakland and Dublin, according to The Argus.

"It's still a jail; there's no special treatment," Lt. Mark Devine, who oversees the program, told the newspaper. "They get the same cot, blanket and food as anybody in the county jail, except that our jail is smaller, quieter and away from the county jail population."

The program has yet to welcome its first guest, but officials hope can help the facility pay for itself and its daily operations. The jail has 58 beds but only a dozen are usually filled.

Critics claim the program is elitist because it excludes those who can't pay the hefty fee.

To apply, a misdemeanor convict must get a judge's order and be screened by jail officials.