Prisonworld Magazine is a known source for information on prisoners and the prison system. The co-editors and co-publishers have provided valuable information for media sources across the country and around the world. One of the latest was for The American Prospect Magazine.
Excerpt is as follows:
Motivating those efforts are cases like that of 40-year-old Glenn Martin. In 1995, he was convicted for an armed robbery of a New York City jewelry store and was sentenced to six years in prison. When he went to jail, he had $300 in outstanding child-support debt and owed $100 a week as part of his regular court-ordered payment. He was worried because he’d have no income in prison and knew he’d emerge owing more money. He guessed at the time it would total $3,000 or $4,000.
When he got out in June 2001, he decided to turn his life around, get a job, and stay out of trouble. But then he found out about his child-support bill. Not only had his payments accrued during the six years but the state had tacked on 9 percent compounding interest. The bill was $50,000.
Two months after being out, he landed a $17,000-a-year job answering phones for a nonprofit law firm. At that salary, he knew he’d never get out from under his debt. So he got the money the only way he knew how. He won’t say what he did but calls it “unmentionable” and says if he’d gotten caught, he would have ended up back in prison and still be there today.
Martin is not a rare case. Jenny Triplett, publisher of the Georgia-based magazine Prisonworld, which is distributed inside jails, often talks to ex-prisoners who seek job advice and contacts. Like Ohio, Georgia considers prisoners to be voluntarily unemployed and makes paying child-support debt a condition of their probation. Triplett says trying to meet that probation requirement is, perversely, often what leads them back to crimes like dealing drugs. “They’ll say to me, which I don’t like to hear, ‘I just have to go do what I know,’ and they revert back to what they know with a quick sell.”
While there are no current national figures on child-support debt among prisoners, a 2002 estimate showed that a sample of Massachusetts inmates would leave prison in arrears by an average of $31,000; in Colorado the figure among a group of parolees in 2001 was $16,700. Until Michigan launched a project to adjust prisoners’ debts in 2004, inmates owed an average of $28,000, according to figures from the state’s Supreme Court.
To read the entire article please refer to this link http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=prisoners_dilemma
Rufus and Jenny Triplett are co-Editors-in-Chief of Prisonworld Magazine, which is published by Dawah International, LLC, a multimedia company. The magazine is printed on a bi-monthly basis and has a yearly readership of 350,000. They are co-hosts and co-producers of the weekly radio show the Prisonworld Radio Hour. For more information about the magazine log onto www.prisonworldmagazine.com. For more information on interviews contact Jenny Triplett 678-233-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.