Started by woof, Feb 20, 2006, 05:28 AM
http://tinyurl.com/l4nxgPrisons ask for alternatives to jailing deadbeat parentsCOLUMBUS, Ohio -- Prisons officials are asking lawmakers to consider alternatives to putting deadbeat parents behind bars, where they don't earn much money and continue failing to support their children.The 601 men and 24 women sent to prison in 2004 for not paying child support made $12 to $18 a month working prison jobs, while taxpayers paid about $63 a day for each prisoner's shelter, food, clothing and medical care."We strongly think each child should receive the support they are due," said Andrea Dean, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. "But we also understand there are going to be some deadbeat dads or parents for whom, if they had an opportunity, an alternative sanction other than prison would be a good option."About 2.5 percent of inmates admitted to prisons in 2004 were felony child support cases.Prisons officials want lawmakers to consider work release or other programs that would allow nonviolent child support violators to work under supervision. They say those options could help alleviate crowding and save taxpayers the $23,000 each prisoner costs annually.Some officials in charge of collecting child support payments say they go through many options before cases are even prosecuted.The Franklin County Child Support Enforcement Agency tries punishments such as suspending drivers' licenses, withholding money from paychecks and seizing bank accounts before filing charges, agency head Anthony Bond said."We've exhausted every possible administrative and judicial remedy before we do this," he said.Kim Newsom Bridges, director of the Ohio Child Support Directors Association, which represents all 88 counties, said members would be willing to consider any new option that encourages parents to pay up."In most circumstances, the county agency and the court have already been through many steps with the obligor and they have failed to comply," she said. "We are not throwing people in prison on the first try."In Franklin County, there were 51,000 cases with child support court orders, Bond said. Of those, 706 were sent to the prosecutor and 46 were prosecuted.Failure to pay child support is a fifth-degree felony, punishable by six to 12 months in prison. Repeat offenses rise to fourth-degree felonies, which carry sentences of up to 18 months.About two-thirds of the child-support prisoners from 1991 to 2004 were white -- compared to half of the overall prison population -- and about 60 percent had a high school diploma or the equivalent, according to prisons statistics. The average violator was a 37-year-old man.Prisoners say they didn't pay child support because they were unemployed or working part-time, had a job that paid minimum wage or had a second family and couldn't afford both, according to state documents. Nearly half had full-time jobs before going to prison, statistics show.About $2 billion in child support was collected in Ohio during the fiscal year that ended June 30, with another $600 million that went uncollected. The state has about 1 million child support cases, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.Doug Missman, chief probation officer for Delaware County Common Pleas Court, said his county has work release and other programs, although not all counties can offer them because such programs are costly."It seems silly to be spending money to lock up people so the state pays for them and they can't pay the people they owe," Missman said.___Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com
"It seems silly to be spending money to lock up people so the state pays for them and they can't pay the people they owe," Missman said.
Nearly half had full-time jobs before going to prison, statistics show.
QuoteNearly half had full-time jobs before going to prison, statistics show. How about: Fewer than half had full-time jobs; orMore than half did not have full time jobs; orMore than half had only part time jobs or no jobs at all; orMore than half were unable to get full time work with the existing pig's ear manipulated market conditions where women are favoured and men routinely penalised with specific anti-male employment laws; oretc, etc.........