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Money on inmate's books taken for Court Costs, etc in Wisconsin
Well it finally went into place where mine is at. He is just sick over this. I don't send him much and they are taking 60% of it. 50% of it for fines, court costs etc and then the 10% for his release account.
So out of the $25 I sent him he got $10 for commissary. I am not sure how we are going to do this. As I really don't have more to send. He was so upset last night. He said what is he suppose to do with $10, but I told him that was better than the zero he had a few weeks ago.
I don't know about where your from but here in Michigan we can contest the court costs and have them frozen until he's released. Have him fine a paralegal inside and ask them if this is a possibility there.
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Study the fine print and see if there are exceptions. It will help you if Wisconsin has a deal like my state does where you can earmark a gift just for stamps or just for education and then they let it through 100%. It won't help today or this year but you have as much right as everyone to call your state legislator and ask for a change in the laws that are punishing you for your loved one's conviction.
I've researched this in depth as far as I could. He needs to write the business manager. There is no where in the act that states they can take 50%. It says they can decide a fair amount. 50% is not fair. Yet the state statute states they have rights to commissary yet they don't even given them enough to buy anything. My fiance specifically asked court when being sentenced to have all fines and fees and restitution be a condition of ES. Yet the facility is taking it. I've called probation/parole I've called the county and everything on their end says they shouldn't take it. But they are the only thing they should be taking is the 10%for release fund and the victim witness surcharge. Even the statute states part a is to be paid first at 25% then part B. I swear they are finding crap they claim inmates owe. I've sick about this and spent a lot of time reviewing it.
This memo provides a brief description of the Act. For more detailed information,
consult the text of the law and related legislative documents at the Legislature’s Web site at: http://www.legis.wisconsin.gov.
One East Main Street, Suite 401 • P.O. Box 2536 • Madison, WI 53701-2536
(608) 266-1304 • Fax: (608) 266-3830 • Email: email@example.com http://www.legis.wisconsin.gov/lc
WISCONSIN LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
2015 Wisconsin Act 355
[2015 Assembly Bill 663]
Restitution Owed to
Victims of Crime
2015 Wisconsin Act 355 makes a variety of changes to the way restitution owed to crime
victims is collected. Generally, the Act makes the following changes:
Provides that any garnishment order to collect unpaid restitution remains in place
until the restitution is paid in full.
Prohibits the Department of Corrections (DOC) from collecting a fee from
probationers, parolees, and persons on extended supervision to partially reimburse
DOC for its costs in providing supervision and other services unless all restitution
payments due from the person have been paid by the time the fee is collected.
Provides that if a defendant fails to make restitution payment in full within the time
period ordered by the court, or if the defendant is delinquent in making payments
toward restitution as ordered, the clerk of courts or DOC may certify to the
Department of Revenue the amount of restitution owed, and DOR may withhold that
amount from any state tax refund the defendant receives.
Provides that if a defendant sentenced to prison is ordered to pay restitution, the court
order must require the defendant to authorize DOC to collect, from the defendant’s
wages and prisoner’s account, an amount or a percentage DOC determines is
reasonable for payment to victims.
Requires DOC and each clerk of court that collects restitution to annually submit a
report to the Legislature that specifies the following, for each fiscal year:
o The total amounts of restitution ordered for DOC and each clerk of court to collect.
o The amount of the fee DOC and each clerk of court collects to offset administrative
expenses for collecting restitution.
I forgot to put a note on here when i saw it. Apparently there has been some investigation into this. Even inmates who have been incarcerated for decades are being hit with this despite having paid off all obligations in the past. There has always been a deduction for " release account" but according to what i have read, the DOC is blaming a new software program into place for the over deductions. Naturally they have put the burden of providing documents to the contrary on the inmate, who has limited access to those records. Stay tuned i guess....
Any avenues for challenging the order will take time. For now, spending the money that you would normally send him on a quarterly package might be a better option. Some of the vendors allow prepaid accounts where several people can contribute to it. Maybe other friends and family would be willing to chip in too. Even $5 a month from several people would add up to enough for a really good package, and 100% of the money goes for the things he needs.