A sheriff in Massachusetts who charged inmates rent, and fees for services, must return $750,000 he collected over a three year period. The sheriff was attempting to teach inmates financial responsibility, and among fees, charged $5 a night in rent, $5 for glasses, and $5 for haircuts. The Mass. Supreme Court held the sheriff had zero authority to unilaterally impose such charges, as those matters are up to the legislature to decide.
The money has been held in an escrow account and will be returned to the inmates.
Prisoners Cannot Be Charged Board, Court Says | Legal Blog Watch