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Repaying Debts

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2007
60 pages
In this guide, legislators, corrections administrators, court officials, victim advocates, child support enforcement officials, social service providers, and others interested in the repayment of debts owed by people released from prisons and jails will find specific, practical recommendations to help them increase accountability among people who commit crimes, improve rates of child support collection and victim restitution, and make people's transition from prisons and jails to the community safe and successful.
State and local government officials and other policymakers are increasingly concerned about the failure of people returning from prisons and jails to pay child support, restitution, and other various fines, fees, and other court-imposed financial obligations. This guide's six policy statements and recommendations detail comprehensive strategies that State and community leaders can use to address those concerns. The policy statements focus on identification of laws and policies, coordination and integration of agencies' policies, procedures, and information systems, enactment of child support enforcement policies, ensuring victims receipt of owed restitution, making certain that financial obligations are attainable, and establishing a range of sanctions and incentives that agencies responsible for collections can exercise. This guide, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, offers those individuals and agencies interested in the repayment of debts owed by inmates released from prisons and jails with specific, practical recommendations to help them realize the following goals: (1) learning which State, city, and county laws address court orders for child support, victim restitution, and other fines, fees, and surcharges, and understanding how these laws and policies are used to govern collections made from people released from prisons and jails; (2) improving rates of collection of child support, restitution, and fines, fees, and surcharges from people returning to the community; and (3) helping people successfully complete the conditions of their sentence. Appendix A-B

Date Published: October 1, 2007