Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Iowa County May Charge Inmates for Toilet Paper

Don't squeeze the Charmin, Mr. Whipple.

Des Moines County will consider an idea to charge jail inmates for bathroom tissue to help wipe away a $1.7 million deficit next year.The decision was driven, in part, by a directive to cut costs or face employee furloughs or layoffs.

The county's budget director, Cheryl McVey, said billing inmates for toilet paper could save more than $2,300."We have to find out if it's an allowable expense," she said Thursday.

McVey said she didn't know whether inmates would be charged by the sheet, square or roll. The savings estimate was provided by the maintenance department at the jail.

Curt Braby, the Louisa County sheriff, said he wasn't aware of any counties that have toilet paper fees on the books.
"They've got budget problems, and they're looking for places to cut. But what do you do for the guy who hasn't got the dollar for the toilet paper?"

Florida has upheld a statute taxing inmates user fees for their daily commodities, and in fact most counties, including Broward do charge. So a toilet paper tax may be unconscionable on one hand but legal on the other. If you have to buy your own hygiene products in commissary, why not TP too? It can happen here. After all, it is Broward County.


  1. So if you don't have any money how are you supposed to wipe your ass?

  2. IF you can get away with it...great, but I'll suggest something that would really save money in the prisons = no toilet paper at all. Install bathroom bidet sprayers in all the toilets and all they'll need is a towel to dry off. It's cleaner, cheaper (yes for those who just have to object to everything water is cheaper than toilet paper!), it's better for the environment and it has health benefits like lessening hemorrhoids which would save even more money. If they object? Tough! You're a prisoner! Besides after they try it, like most people, they will like it. As Dr. Oz said on Oprah: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off" This is a logical, doable and simple way to save allot of money and actually improve the prisoners living standards. But of course like all new ideas people will find countless silly and inane objections, that is the way of things. Theses sprayers are available at I installed mine myself, easy.