A Letter From Jail About Child Support

Apparently the author is not in jail for failure to pay child support but for something else.
In a letter to the editor published in the Richmond, Indiana, Palladium-Item, a prisoner in the Wayne county Jail passed on the thoughts of some of his fellow inmates about child support. Here's an excerpt from his letter:

• If our fine state is willing to send a parent that is behind but is currently paying to jail, who benefits?

• What about the custodial parents who become accustomed to receiving weekly payments that now stop while we -- the public -- become responsible through public assistance?

• Does the public that is now paying to house the "deadbeat parent" in jail benefit? At a minimum of $30 a day, which I'm sure is conservative, it will cost us $10,800 to house one person a year. If a person is two years at $20,000 and given a two-year sentence, they are now $40,000 behind and the public has paid almost $22,000 to house them in jail.

• Do the children that have lost a parent for that two years and get to say, "My dad can't take me to Cub Scouts because he's in jail," benefit?

• Do employers who lose employees because they are now in jail benefit?

Many employers won't hire a person if they have a felony. Some cases I can understand there is no choice but to prosecute, but many there should be an alternative.

The state cannot even guarantee that these parents are at least sent to a work-release program where they would be covering the cost of their incarceration and paying support.

Something needs to be done, or do we just need prosecution and prison statistics?


Perhaps the Wayne County authorities should check out programs such as Sheriff Proffitt's work-release program in Chesterfield County, Virginia, or the Fatherhood Program in Sumpter County, Georgia.

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