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South Bay : Upscale Jail Cells Are No Longer for Rent

August 19, 1995

What can $110 buy? Until this week, it paid for one day in the El Segundo jail, but no more.

The City Council has voted to do away with a program that allowed convicted criminals who wanted to avoid doing time in the overcrowded County Jail to stay at the more comfortable El Segundo facility for a fee. Zsa Zsa Gabor served her infamous cop-slapping sentence there and had her meals catered.

City Manager Jim Morrisson said the 13-year-old program was not as popular as it used to be, dropping from an annual income of $30,000 a few years ago to a low of $14,000 last year.

And the city wanted to house juvenile offenders in the main jail, but state law dictates that youth offenders cannot be housed with adult inmates.

Morrisson said it's clear why some prisoners would pay to stay in the El Segundo jail.

"You get an individual cell. And you're not with a huge populace in a communal area," he said. "As far as jails go, it's pretty nice."

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