Chapter 211 of the Nevada Revised Statutes makes clear that if a prisoner causes damage, or the city has to incur expenses related to their incarceration, it is possible to seek reimbursement for those costs from the inmate. According to NRS 211.245, a board of county commissioners or the governing body of an incorporated city has the ability to pursue reimbursement from a nonindigent prisoner for expenses incurred by the county or city for the following costs:
(a) The maintenance and support of the prisoner in a county or city jail or detention facility to which the prisoner has been assigned, including expenses incurred during a period of pretrial detention if time served during the pretrial detention is credited by the court against any sentence imposed; or
(b) The administration of an alternative program to which the prisoner has been assigned, including, without limitation, the costs of supervising the prisoner in the program.
It is important to note that, pursuant to sub-section (2) of NRS 211.245, the amount of reimbursement sought by a county or city must not exceed the actual cost per day for the maintenance and support of the prisoner and may include, without limitation, the costs of providing heating, air-conditioning, food, clothing, bedding and medical care to a prisoner.
Before the city or county will require a prisoner to reimburse them for expenses, state law requires the county board of commissioners or governing body of the city to investigate the prisoner’s financial status to determine whether they are indigent (i.e. lacking the financial resources to cover an expense).
The board or governing body may request a list from the person over the jail, department of detention or alternative program containing:
When the board or governing body determines a prisoner’s financial status, the prisoner may be issued a demand for reimbursement. Refusing to fill out a form or forgetting to submit the form will not prevent the sheriff, chief, administrator, or other individual in charge from issuing the reimbursement demand. The bill will be for the total amount due. However, it is possible to set up monthly payments.
If the prisoner sets up monthly installments, the correctional facility will give the prisoner a monthly billing statement. The prisoner must pay your full monthly amount due by the due date or risk incurring further financial penalties.
According to NRS 211.244, it is possible to have an inmate complete supervised community service in lieu of paying the amount owed to the city or county. The current credit for community service is $8 per volunteer hour. This amount will be deducted from the total amount owed.
If the amount owed is not paid on time, or ignored entirely, the city or county has the right to file a civil action against the prisoner in court.
If the city or county file a civil action, they may seek an order restricting access to your property temporarily to keep you, your spouse, or any other person from disposing of any assets. You won’t be able to transfer, withhold, sell, spend, or tie up any real or personal property.
The money obtained for reimbursement is returned to the county or city general fund from which it came.
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