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Personal Hygiene and Personal Responsibility 
 

Inmates pay for their own Supplies at the Polk County Jail.

Every year the inmate population increases at Polk County Sheriff's Office detention facilities. The cost to house, feed, control, and provide medical care for these inmates continues to increase as the jail population increases.

In an effort to ease this financial burden to the county's taxpayers, the Polk County Sheriff's Office charges each inmate a one-time processing fee of $30.00 . Inmates booked into the Polk County Jail and subsequently housed at one of the facilities are also charged $4.14 for a package of personal hygiene items, $4.86 for a Booking Health Screening, and a $2.00 daily subsistence fee for each twenty-four hour day of incarceration.

The Personal Hygiene Package includes: One container of liquid anti-bacterial soap/shampoo, one tube/packet of shaving cream, one toothbrush, one .85 ounce tube of toothpaste,  one comb, one 1.5 ounce container of roll-on deodorant. These items are packaged in a zip-lock plastic bag. Additionally, female inmates receive five pair of underwear and feminine hygiene items, as appropriate.

All persons transferred to a housing facility are issued and charged for the hygiene packages regardless of their ability to pay.  An account is established for each inmate who is booked into the Polk County Jail to accept cash money from when the person was originally arrested.  Friends or family can also place money into the account after he or she is arrested.  The cost of the administrative fees, hygiene package, and daily subsitence fees are deducted from the inmate's account.  If an arrested person has no funds in his account, a charge will be made that will be paid when money is eventually placed into the inmate's personal account.

Short term inmates--those who are arrested, booked in, and housed until First Appearance and released after First Appearance--are also issued personal hygiene packages. Upon release, these inmates (who were held only a few hours or for over night) had been known to throw away all the personal care items, even though some of the items had not been used. Now that the inmate is charged for the package, this wasteful practice has been eliminated. The inmate now reasons, "I paid for this, I'm going to take it with me." The practice has also reduced the job of cleaning up after the inmates because there is less waste left behind.  Since inmates pay for these items, it has created a sense of ownership.  Inmates are aware that they need to get their money's worth -- they have become less wasteful of the items overall.