RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Inmates in Alabama will now be paying a little bit extra to get themselves out of jail thanks to a new bond fee that went into effect Thursday.
House Bill 688 went into effect first thing Thursday morning and it will have Alabama inmates who post bond digging deeper into their pockets.
"As of midnight last night, if you make a bond in the state, there is a $35 fee that will be added to the cost of the bond," Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor explained in a press conference Thursday. He wants to let the public know they should expect the new bond fee if they happen to be booked into any Alabama jail in the future. He says the bill is put in place to help government agencies that are struggling to make money, "The District Attorney's office, the judge's office, the clerk's office, everyone was in dire straits financially."
The popular way to solve money problems is to tax the public, but thanks to the new bill, Sheriff Taylor says that won't be necessary, "This bill is an effort to put the burden on the offenders who are using that system to make up the deficit."
Sheriff Taylor supports the new bill, and he doesn't think there are any problems that come along with it, "It's hard for me to see a con. If you're found not guilty or your bond is dropped, you're going to get your money back."
This $35 fee will be split between the clerk's office, the courts and the District Attorney. The Alabama jails will only see 10% of the funds that are generated.