Should released prisoners pay back to the state what was spent on them while in jail?

  • Yes, it's a great idea.

    If a criminal was out on the street, he or she would be trying to pay for the basics of life. In prison, however, that person is fed and clothed without laying out any money for room and board. The released person should be told a sum that needs to be repaid in very small monthly increments. It might never all get repaid but it is a start.

  • No, not at all.

    Unless they were violent offenders or someone that stole lots of money from someone, no, I do not believe so. The United States has the world's largest prison and jail population, and most of them are drug offenders. If anyone should pay the people back, it is the state, because they're wasting money on innocent people.

  • That's just mean spirited.

    Sorry, but I don't think that I can support this idea. What you are proposing here is essentially to keep on punishing these people after they've served their sentence. No. The state chose to place them in custody for a few years, they chose to incur the expense. If you want someone to pay their way during a sentence, allow home detention (where they have to hold down a job).

  • In A Perfect World

    In a perfect world where only criminals were jailed this would probably be a great consideration, but given that we have many people in prison who really do not belong there, I do not feel there is any reason to make them pay back the costs. The second downfall to this proposition is the fact that felons often have a hard time supporting themselves once they are out because they can't find a job. How can we collect monies from the poverty stricken?

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