Sheriff: 'Jail is not meant to be fun' - WNEM TV 5

Sheriff: 'Jail is not meant to be fun'

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SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Inmates in one Michigan jail, with good behavior, are being rewarded with technology.

In Sanilac County, inmates have been given tablet computers.

We sat down with Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel to see if he'd consider implementing a similar program in Mid-Michigan.

"Jail is meant for a particular purpose and it is not to encourage individuals to come to jail so that they can use tablets," Federspiel said.

Other counties are now considering implementing similar programs, but Federspiel said it's not something he sees happening here in Saginaw County.

"I would not encourage anything like this where they can just sit around and play games and have fun," Federspiel said. "Jail is not meant to be fun it's not meant to allow people to broaden their horizons let's just say it's a place where it’s punitive in nature where people are being."

Inmates in Sanilac County use the tablets to read the news, search for jobs and play games.

They can also use them as a phone.

Federspiel said instead, here in Saginaw County, inmates are expected go out and work and provide a service to the community like cleaning up cemeteries while they're serving their time.

"To me that is more meaningful they're actually providing a service to the community while they’re incarcerated as opposed to getting a free pass. I prefer to put them to work," Federspiel said.

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