Law \ Legal

Former Prisoner Claims ‘Pay to Stay’ Fees Violate the Constitution

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As a result of a $83,762 lien from a debt she owes to cover the 2.5 years she spent in prison in Connecticut, a woman who was released from prison two decades ago but is now in danger of losing her family’s home has filed a lawsuit requesting class-action status for people like her, the Associated Press reports. The lawsuit argues that  “pay-to-stay” fees violate the  excessive fines clause of the Constitution.

Though not all states actually go after people for the money, all but two states have “pay-to-stay” laws that require prisoners to pay significant fees for their time in jail.  This year, Connecticut limiting the law’s application to serious crimes like murder and exempted prisoners from having to cover the first $50,000 of their incarceration expenses.

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