by Anonymous, CCWF
The California Prison system intends to increase the amount of restitution to the state “victims’ fund” that is assessed to prisoners on sentencing. These monies sometimes go to individual crime victims, but are primarily a source of revenue for the state from the interest earned. This proposal should be opposed because:
- Families who send money have already paid state and federal taxes for incarceration and are taxed again.
- With the huge state budget deficit, this is a blatantly exploitative way to make more money off prisoners and their families because the restitution money goes to the victims’ fund where the state makes money off the interest the victims’ fund earns. A larger fund means more interest for the state.
- Salaries are very small but enough to keep many inmates from qualifying for indigent status. If families send money, people can’t qualify to get free hygiene products and pens, paper, and envelopes. Therefore, inmates depend on family support which, when 55% is deducted, will become negligible and people will have no money to shop at the canteen for necessities.
- Prisoners are easily exploited and abused because society pays no attention and uses them as the whipping boys and girls for society’s ills.
- Inmates are already serving their sentences: this constitutes an additional punishment.
- If people don’t protest this, the CDC will do it.
NOTE: On January 14, CCWP spoke against the restitution increase at the CDC hearing in Sacramento along with family members and other advocates.