Implementer §§ 461-462 — Cost of Incarceration
Current law gives the state a claim against any property owned by an inmate, except:
- property that is statutorily exempt from execution to satisfy court judgments and exempt property of a farm partnership;
- money from a contract for reenacting the inmate’s violent crime in various media (such as movies and books) or from the expression of the person’s thoughts or feelings about the crime which by law must be paid to the Office of Victim Services;
- property acquired for work performed during incarceration as part of a program designated or defined in DOC regulation as job training, skill development, a career opportunity, or an enhancement program; and
- property the inmate acquired after he or she was released from incarceration.
The bill additionally exempts up to $50,000 of other assets, except for inmates incarcerated for capital felony or murder with special circumstances, felony murder, 1st and 2nd degree sexual assault, 1st degree aggravated sexual assault, or aggravated sexual assault of a minor.
Under existing law, unchanged by the bill, any action by the state must be brought within two years of the inmate’s release from prison or within two years of his death if he dies while in DOC custody. This time restriction does not apply to property that is fraudulently concealed.
Under the law, whenever a person who owes the state money for the cost of his or her incarceration wins a lawsuit judgment, for a case he or she brought within 20 years of release, the state’s claim is a lien against the proceeds. The maximum amount of the claim is the full cost of the inmate’s incarceration or 50% of the proceeds, minus certain expenses (e.g., attorney’s fees), whichever is less.
The bill limits this to lawsuit proceeds for inmates incarcerated for capital felony or murder with special circumstances, felony murder, 1st and 2nd degree sexual assault, 1st degree aggravated sexual assault, or aggravated sexual assault of a minor.
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