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Pay-to-stay (imprisonment) - Wikipedia

cross-posted from:

Very weird that I am so old and have literally never heard this mentioned in a TV show or book or movie or anything.

In four out of five states, if you go to prison, you are literally paying for the time you spend there.

As you can guess, this results in crippling debt as soon as you're released.

The county gets back a fraction of what they hold over your head the rest of your life until you commit suicide(or die naturally and peacefully with the sword of damocles hanging over your head).

$20-$80 a day according to Rutgers.

Counties apparently sue people and employ wage garnishment to get back the money that majority of people obviously cannot pay back.