You’ve Served Your Time, Now Here’s Your Bill

In some states, formerly incarcerated people are sent bills, and in others they are charged fines (sometimes called legal financial obligations, or LFOs). Some states collect the cost of incarcerating someone through windfall statues, grabbing any inhe…

In some states, formerly incarcerated people are sent bills, and in others they are charged fines (sometimes called legal financial obligations, or LFOs). Some states collect the cost of incarcerating someone through windfall statues, grabbing any inheritances, lottery winnings or proceeds from litigation. There’s no way to pay these bills ahead of their due dates or work these charges off while in prison, no matter how hard you work. No inmate can earn enough inside to cover the costs of their incarceration; each one will necessarily leave with a bill. The state of Florida, which pays inmate workers a maximum of $0.55 per hour, billed former inmate Dee Taylor $55,000 for his three-year sentence. He would have had to work 100,000 hours, or over 11 years nonstop, at a prison wage to pay for his three year incarceration.

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You’ve Served Your Time, Now Here’s Your Bill

In some states, formerly incarcerated people are sent bills, and in others they are charged fines (sometimes called legal financial obligations, or LFOs). Some states collect the cost of incarcerating someone through windfall statues, grabbing any inhe…

In some states, formerly incarcerated people are sent bills, and in others they are charged fines (sometimes called legal financial obligations, or LFOs). Some states collect the cost of incarcerating someone through windfall statues, grabbing any inheritances, lottery winnings or proceeds from litigation. There’s no way to pay these bills ahead of their due dates or work these charges off while in prison, no matter how hard you work. No inmate can earn enough inside to cover the costs of their incarceration; each one will necessarily leave with a bill. The state of Florida, which pays inmate workers a maximum of $0.55 per hour, billed former inmate Dee Taylor $55,000 for his three-year sentence. He would have had to work 100,000 hours, or over 11 years nonstop, at a prison wage to pay for his three year incarceration.

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