Posts Tagged ‘fines and charges’

“The economic exploitation of prisoners doesn’t end when they’re released. In 49 states, inmates are charged for the costs of their own incarceration.

The way this works varies. In some states, formerly incarcerated people are sent bills, and in others they are charged fines (sometimes called legal financial obligations, or LFOs). Some states collect the cost of incarcerating someone through windfall statutes, grabbing any inheritances, lottery winnings or proceeds from litigation.

There’s no way to pay these bills ahead of their due dates or work these charges off while in prison, no matter how hard you work. No inmate can earn enough inside to cover the costs of their incarceration; each one will necessarily leave with a bill. The state of Florida, which pays inmate workers a maximum of $0.55 per hour, billed former inmate Dee Taylor $55,000 for his three-year sentence. He would have had to work 100,000 hours, or over 11 years nonstop, at a prison wage to pay for his three year incarceration. Even as a free man working at Florida’s minimum wage of $8.25, he would have to work more than 6,666 hours ― more than three regular work years ― and not spend a penny on anything else to pay it back. 

These debts are impossible for the even hardest-working people to pay off. Most people enter prison poor, and half of formerly incarcerated people are unemployed six months after they leave custody. Those who find jobs after prison will earn very little; the median income for people within one year of their release is $10,090 ― only 55 percent had any earnings at all. This makes paying any type of bill a challenge. The bills for one’s prison time compete with active and essential living expenses like housing, food, utilities and transport. Ex-offenders in the United States owe about $50 billion for various criminal justice costs like pretrial detention, court fees and incarceration costs. It’s estimated that as much 60 percent of a formerly incarcerated person’s income goes toward “criminal justice debt,” even for those who have ostensibly paid their debt to society.  

These debts can make it even harder for a returning citizen to rebuild their life after incarceration, because in 46 states, failure to repay them is an offense punishable by yet more incarceration. A Georgia man named Thomas Barrett pleaded guilty to shoplifting a $2 can of beer and was fined $200 and sentenced to probation, supposedly so he could avoid jail. That was a futile hope, since he was eventually incarcerated after he failed to pay over $1,000 in fees attached to that $200 fine. In Rhode Island from 2005 through 2007, failure to pay court debt was the most common reason that individuals were incarcerated, which means that, in a state that routinely spends around $200 million on corrections every year, the most common reason for incarcerating people there was something other than crime.”


Chandra Bozelko and Ryan Lo, “You’ve Served Your Time. Now Here’s Your Bill.Huffpost, September 16, 2018.

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“‘Bling Pig’ Raid,” Kingston Daily Standard. September 4, 1912. Page 01.

Heavy Sentences Were Imposed On Ten Offenders at Cobalt.

Cobalt, Sept. 4. – The biggest ‘blind pig’ raid in months occurred when the Provincial police rounded up thirteen alleged illegal sellers of liquor here and in South Lorraine. Yesterday ten convictions were registered with Inspector George Morrison, prosecuting. Three cases were adjourned till to-day.

The following are the sentences imposed yesterday: Patrick Redmond, $200 or six months in jail; Alphonse Beland, four months in jail; Spiers Romanus, $100; George Peterson, four months: Luke Farrell, four months; John Major, $300 or nine months; Peter Peterson, $100; Joseph Perreault, ten months; Fred Paquette, $300; Bert Deschenes, twelve months.

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“Sudbury Police Court,” Sudbury Star. August 10, 1918. Page 05.

Magistrate Brodie intimated in Friday morning’s court that from now on he was going to fine all alien enemies for not carrying papers and Mich. Radomski and D. Mumylyk, hailing from Romford, paid ten dollars and costs for failing to have received permission to come to Sudbury.

Peter Yabokoski was found in an intoxicated condition at the C.P.R. depot Thursday night and when he was searched it was discovered that he had left his papers in a grip at Murray Mine where he had been working. It cost him $10 and costs his fount of joy, and five and costs for not having his papers.

Leon  Michiniowicz was charged with not being employed at a useful occupation on the 9th day of July. He stated that he had worked at the Mond smelter at Coniston but had left owing to ‘his work injuring his health.’ At the time of his arrest he was learning to run a jitney car and at the preent has a jitney. His worship in dismissing the case gave Michniowicz a chance, seeing that he had worked at the smelter five years.

Jules Chalifoux, who was arrested sometime ago for stealing a sum of money on the 3rd of July was allowed to go Friday, owing to the fact that the plaintiff in the charge cannot be located.

A Conistion party appeared Thursday morning to have a family quarrel straightened out. Peter Petryna claimed that Tomas Bilyj had trhown a bottle at him and struck him on the back as he was removing some cases which Bilyj had thrown on the defendant’s property. Much abusive language was exchanged reflecting on both families and the complaint was laid as a result. Magistrate Brodie told the parties interested that the affair was a small thing, expressing a hope that they would go back and live in harmony with one another, and try to patch up there differences. Bilyj was fined $1 and costs.

On Wednesday, Alex. Juval requested the court to let his charge of having liquor in other than a private dwelling stand over until Thursday morning, and after having slept over it, he pleaded guilty to the charge and paid $200 and costs.

The charge against E. Waugh of having more than fifteen days’ supply of flour on hand was dismissed on Thursday, as the court was convinced that he did not have an over supply of flour at one time. In fact, evidence was brought forward to the effect that it would only last him about fifteen days.

When Nathaniel James was told that he was charged with being drunk he pleaded guilty and told his Worship that he was drinking Three Star brandy. It cost Nat. $10 and costs, and he was told that if he didn’t leave the stars alone it would be a prison term next time.

Horace Chamberlain admitted that he was in a hurry and that he passed a standing street car while pasengers were alighting.

‘If you are willing to take those chance it will cost you $5 and costs,’ said his Worshhip.

Hilda Maki, Coniston, after having just been released from the reformatory, again appeared at the court Thursday. The magistrate did not read any charge against the woman, but remanded her to enable two physicians to examine her and ascertain the condition of her mental faculties.

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“Robbed Visitor, Goes to Prison,” Toronto Star. August 5, 1910. Page 10.

Nine Months for Edward Walsh – The Money Goes Back to His Victim


George Empey Went Back to His Former Boarding House and Stole $42/
Because the bills found on Edward Walsh corresponded with those taken from Thomas White, a Californian, Walsh will go to the Central for nine months. It was some days ago that the charge was laid. White had been met at the station by two strangers, drinks followed, then he slept in a downtown hotel, and $245 disappeared from his pocket. The bills were on the First National Bank of Los Angles, and $150 of the same bank were found on Walsh by Detective Taylor. White gets the roll of $150.

Irene Britton, convicted as frequenter of a house of ill-fame, was fined ten dollars and costs.

Robbed Former Landlord.
Claiming that Grover Empey went back to his former boarding house, 188 Spadina avenue, entered during the night and stole $42, the proprietor, John Cansaul, pressed the charge against him in this morning’s Police Court.

‘Took it while I was sleeping,’ complained Cansaul, and the young man did not deny it.

He goes to the Central for four months, and any money found goes back to the owner.

Court Visitor Locked Up.
Herscharn Hertz, for many weeks a familiar figure about the court room as spectator, has been taken into custody, and will be examined by a doctor.

Ernest Carter was remanded a week on two charges of theft, $30 from A. E. Hockins, and a gold ring from Mrs. R. J. Moyes. To the theft of the former amount from his employer, the plea was guilty, but the boy’s mother was in court to press for leniency. 

They Were Acquitted.
‘He didn’t say anything to me about borrowing a few feeds of oats,’ said George Brennan, flatly contradicting the story of Ernest Amos, who was charged jointly with Charles Howard with the theft of a bag of eats from George Stevenson.

It was one to one on the evidence, for Howard had not heard the conversation. No records were against the two young men, so the charges were dismissed.

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“An Employment Bureau In Court,” Toronto Star. August 5, 1910. Page 05.

Police Will Probe It – One of the Patrons Says He Was Victimized.


Keeps Edward Gibson on Short Fare at the Jail for a Month More.

Before Magistrate Denison to-day John C. Smith and A. C. Dean got $3.05 from him under misrepresentation, so the charge was theft. Dean conducts an employment agency in Front street and Smith stated that he paid over his dollar for registration and the balance represented a single ticket to Dundalk, where he was informed there was plenty of work.

‘Two of us went,’ continued Smith, ‘but when we got there Dean’s agent laughed at us and said there was no work.’

‘Better have that looked into,’ instructed the magistrate. ‘It may be a regular occurrence.’

Mr. Corley agreed, and the case stands for a week until Campbell, the Dundalk representative, may be produced as witness.

Edgar Bunker Acquitted.
Who took the book of tickets from the Toronto Ferry Company’s office is yet unsolved. Edgar Bunker has been acquited. Several days ago he gave the name of Wm. Cunningham as the man who had passed the tickets on to him.

Got them in a lodging house on Pearl street in April,’ explained Cunningham. ‘Somebody put them in my kit.’

He is a fireman on the Richelieu line.

‘It’s quite possible,’ put in Detective Taylor. ‘I know the people who go to the house.’

Accordingly, the charge was dismissed.

Assaulted a Policeman.
For the assault which was made on Constable John Donoghue 28 days ago in Sackville street at night Edward Gibson will go back to jail for 30 days. Donoghue spent several days under medical attention; his ear was badly cut by a bottle. The trouble arose while the officer was arresting William Allen on a charge of disorderly conduct. They resisted, and the damage followed. Allen and two others, Robert Barry and Warren Ellis, were fined $10 and costs each for roughness. Gibson, they identified as the wielder of the bottle. In addition to his 28 days, he will spend 30 more in jail.

For an assault upon Edward Scott, bartender of the Claremont House, John Donohue will go to the jail for 40 days.

Back to Buffalo.
The Buffalonian, J. R. Smith, whom Constable Koster followed through a cellar window at 53 St. George street at five o’clock in the morning a week ago, has promised to vacate Toronto. With a chance, he would go right across the border, for he had only gone in for a sleep. Nothing was missing so the chance was forthcoming.

A Horse in Bad Shape.
Adolphe Meyers will have to submit his horse to a medical examination Constable Carlyle had found the animal suffering and laid a charge of cruelty to animals. The nose, he said, was inflamed, the animal fell down apparently from suffocation, it ‘had been beaten unmercifully,’ and was given no food but grass, which it could not eat on account of the condition of its throat.

Magistrate Denison suggested shooting but a veterinary will be called instead.

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“Copper Cliff Police Court,” Sudbury Star. August 3, 1918. Page 04.

For driving his auto without front lights Negosanti Wario, an Italian, was fined $1 and costs in Wednesday’s police court.

Geo. Lark, of Sudbury, paid $1 and costs for driving his car without a front marker.

Henry Renni, Finlander, also failed to burn two front lights, and paid $1 and costs. The law now is that both lights, not one as formerly, must be burning after dusk.

Richard Death, Sr., charged with having neither front or rear lights, produced a witness, in addition to himself to counteract the evidence of the policeman, and was given the benefit of the doubt by Magistrate Stoddart.

In Friday’s police court, Leone Satore, Italian, drunk in Copper Cliff on July 19th, paid $20 and costs. An analysis of the liquor which proved his undoing, showed it to be 19.87 per pecent. proof spirits, and Crema Mario, the owner, paid $200 and costs for a breach of the O.T.A. in having liquor in other than a private place.

Henry Rintamski, a returned soldier, neglected to burn a rear light on his motor cycle, and was let down with payment of court costs.

P. J. Grenon didn’t have either rear or side lights on his side-car motor cycle. $1 and costs.

Liugi Palma, Italian, parted with $1 and costs for failing to burn front lights.

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“Disturbance at Portsmouth,” Kingston Daily Standard. July 23, 1912. Page 08.

Longshoremen employed at unloading a coal boat at Portsmouth created a disturbance at the Bay last night as the result of indulging too freely. Village Constable Cross was at the scene of the disturbance, and succeeded in arresting one member of the gang. At a special session of the police court at the village hall the prisoner was brought before Magistrate Hunter and fined $5 and costs for disturbing the peace.

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