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Debtors’ Prison: Prisoners’ Accumulation of Debt as a Barrier to Reentry

This paper describes the types of criminal financial sanctions levied against people as they make their way through the criminal justice system and the child support policies that lead to payment obligations that it argues are unrealistic and counterproductive. Cost-recovery policies enforced by criminal justice and child support agencies, the authors argue, are ill-advised, undermining the criminal justice system’s rehabilitation goals, the child support system’s goals to support children, and society’s interest in fully reintegrating people after release from prison.

Debtors’ Prison: Prisoners’ Accumulation of Debt as a Barrier to Reentry