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Associated Press, Published November 14 2009

Wadena jail to start charging inmates $20 per day

WADENA, Minn. (AP) - Starting next year, inmates at the Wadena County Jail will be charged $20 for every day they're housed in the jail. They'll also be responsible for any medical expenses they incur.

Wadena County Sheriff Mike Carr says the goal is to deter people who periodically land themselves in jail so they can take advantage of free services.

He says there are some people who never go to a doctor or dentist, but as soon as they get to jail they get a toothache.

The jail program is called "Pay to Stay." It starts in January. It will rely on a collection agency to bill the inmates.

Carr says the message is, if you "can't pay for the time, don't do the crime."

Wadena is in central Minnesota, about 50 miles east of Fergus Falls.

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