Rent Is Rising in Bay Area ... Jails?!

Well, it's happened: There is literally no square inch of living space in or around San Francisco that doesn't cost a ludicrous amount of money.

Photo By Zillow For $4500 a month, you can have three bedrooms, two parking spots and a doorman — or access to day-room areas, showers and inmate phones.

If you, like so many, have been binge-watching Orange is the New Black, the Netflix-streaming series about a WASP-y woman's 15-month prison sentence, you know that jail is no Holiday Inn. But in the Bay Area, a stay in jail can cost the same as one.

You heard that right: If your DUI, driving with a suspended license or shoplifting charges have you worried that you'll be in the general jail population, you can opt to pay $155 per night for a bunk in a special section of the Fremont Detention Center that's certified free of gang activity, violent inmates and sex offenders.

The program, dubbed "pay-to-stay," is supposed to generate revenue and ease overcrowding in county jails. Foes say it's classist and discriminatory. But in a state where prison conditions are so bad inmates are on a widespread hunger strike, there's a strong desire to improve conditions by any means necessary. 

The Bay Area is not the first to use this strategy. But in a town where you can literally pay $150 per night ($4500 per month) for a one-bedroom in South Park, this is just a punch line waiting to happen.

Of course, people who can afford a lengthy stay in a designer jail are the same people who will consider it cruel and unusual punishment to go without wireless Internet, so let the new hunger strikes begin.

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