Pay to be Put Behind Bars in DeKalb County


A multi-million dollar jail project is nearly finished in DeKalb County.  Before it opens, people are paying to spend the night behind bars.
In DeKalb County. you don’t have to do the crime, to do the time.  On June 1st, the brand new DeKalb County Jail will host a ‘Spend the Night in Jail’  Fundraiser.  It serves two purposes.  One is to test the jail process, before inmates are brought to the new facility.

“[They can] actually sit in the cells, participate in all the functions that go on,” said DeKalb County Sheriff, Roger Scott. “Only in just a very abbreviated session.”

The other purpose is for citizens to experience the jail for themselves.

“I think it’s an interesting concept,” said Sycamore Resident Ron Bradt.  “Obviously, it’s going to get the community involved in looking at the jail and the investment we made in it.”

When participants enter, they’ll get the full treatment, like testing out the inmate phone system to getting their mug shot taken.  “They’ll come through the process,” said Sheriff Scott.  “They’ll be booked, they’ll go through the different cell areas that are assigned, and fed a meal.”

The experience isn’t free.  It costs $40, but the money goes to a good cause.  Participants can choose one of four non-profits that will benefit from that fee. Such as the Volunteer Action Center, Safe passage, CASA DeKalb County Inc., or The Children’s Advocacy Center.

“We’re now getting into the nuts and bolts of running the place and learning how to,” said Sheriff Scott. “This process, even though it’s a fundraiser and it’s going to be a great time, it’ll help test the system.”

The new jail is years in the making.  Planning and construction for the $35 million project have been going on since 2011.  Residents like Ron Bradt are happy with how it turned out.  “They blended the building into the existing infrastructure, and it looks great.  It’s not intrusive,” said Bradt.  “Sycamore is a nice community, a nice town and it blends in.  It doesn’t seem to stand out other than the fact that it’s there and servicing the community the way it should.”

Participants will only be locked up for three hours, must be 18 years or older and pass a background check.  

Click here to sign up.

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