Currently, in Missouri, if you are an alleged criminal offender unable to afford bail, sitting in county jail waiting for trial, you may be racking up a bill worth thousands of dollars for your “care.” State prosecutors and judges have the discretion to impose this bill upon you, and if you are unable to pay this bill for any reason, then the true cost may well be the incalculable expense of your freedom. The Supreme Court of Missouri recently considered a case that followed this pattern and ultimately released a man who spent three years in state prison for failure to “pay for his stay” while awaiting trial in a county jail.
Incarcerated for Indigence: Probation Revocation for Inability to Pay Court-Ordered Fines Found to Violate Due Process,
83 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol83/iss2/13