Next Up in County Jail? Advertising

This night in the pokey has been brought to you by...
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2011 12:40 PM CDT
Next Up in County Jail? Advertising
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Money's tight for many a local government these days, and Western New York's Erie County is looking to squeeze a buck or two out of an unlikely place: its jail. The county is selling jailhouse advertising to bail bondsmen and attorneys on high-def TVs outside its booking area and in a waiting area for friends and family, reports the Buffalo News. “What do people want when they are in the Holding Center?” asks the man providing the service. “They want to get out. And they don’t want to get convicted. So they want bail. And an attorney. This is the ultimate captive audience."

Not everyone's laughing: The initiative, which should generate between $8,000 and $15,000 annually, is being decried as taking advantage of a vulnerable audience. “I wouldn’t do it even if I was subsisting on Ramen noodles,” says one attorney. "It's just poor taste." “Inmates should not be used to generate funds for the county’s jail operations,” says a former corrections official. (More upstate New York stories.)

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