OFFENDER FINES BEING PUT INTO GENERAL OPERATIONS BUDGET?????
What in the world?
At a recent FOCUS Group meeting (April 7, 2014) the question “When an inmate is issued a fine for an infraction, and money is collected, how are these funds dispersed and recorded?”, was asked of Gary Sessions (Finance Director for UDC) and Brian Allgaier (Financial Manager of Inmate Funds Accounting). Their answer was that the money is recorded and stays at the institution. Neither one really answered the part about how the funds are recorded.
They then go on to say that the funds collected are placed into the general operation fund and used for….now get this! UTILITIES, LAUNDRY, FOOD, and different expenses to run the facility. Excuse us but are the taxpayers’ pockets now being double dipped into?????
These Offenders, if they are lucky enough to score a job inside the walls, work for about forty cents an hour! Given a 40 hour week, this is approximately 25.00 a MONTH! And if an Offender is having child support payments taken what’s left to pay these fines. Who is actually paying these fines? The family is! We are already paying taxes that should be going into the operational fund so why are we being penalized once again by the higher uppers at UDC?
Think about a single mom, through no fault of her own is now being penalized. She did not commit the crime. But now she is left to raise and provide for herself and her children. Her Offender is hit with a large fine….the rumor is that now it is sometimes $200! She wants to help and puts money on the books. This is most likely taken from her household money that SHOULD be used to feed and provide for those children! WHY does UDC see the need to FINE this kind of money knowing good and well that this Offender is usually not the one paying it!
Come on UDC, your budget for the 2013 FY was over 265 MILLION dollars. And this includes $340,000 in FEDERAL FUNDING! Add to what the Legislature approves is the profit from Utah Correctional Industries of over $21,000. Then you have $1.5M in surcharges from the prison phone system going into the pot!
UDC, STOP penalizing the families! They are having a hard enough time because, in some instances, the major wage owner is no longer there. STOP taking out of the mouths of the innocent children who did nothing to deserve the lives they are being forced into living…a life without a mother or a father.
Want a suggestion on how to stretch that budget? Release some of the first time offenders with no prior criminal record. Utilize the Fortitude Center for Parole Violators instead of sending them back to prison on a technical violation. Be better stewards of OUR money!
If the Offender breaks the rules, punish THEM for that infraction but STOP punishing the families.