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Video: Cash-strapped local governments charging inmates for being in jail

County commissioners in Anderson County, Tenn., last week proposed measures to charge inmates in the county jail for basic necessities, such as toilet paper and clothing. Critics say it’s unfair and unconstitutional. Proponents argue it’s a creative solution to two broad problems: prison populations that are growing too fast and budgets that aren’t growing fast enough.

GovBeat bloggers are watching the issue. And now you can, too. Post TV’s Nia-Malika Henderson had a conversation about the practice with two experts on Thursday’s episode of “On Background.” It’s a great introduction to the debate over having inmates pay for necessities. Check it out:

Cash-strapped cities across the United States have begun charging jail inmates for room and board. Lauren-Brooke Eisen of the Brennan Center for Justice and Massachusetts State Rep. Paul Heroux discuss the constitutional and practical issues with charging inmates. (The Washington Post)

Niraj Chokshi is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.

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