Joanne DuPonte 0

Austin's Law

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There are millions of men and woman, at any given time, in out countries prison system. A large majority of these inmates are also parents. Parents who have left behind not only their children, but another parent or family member to take care of them. As these guardians struggle to keep food on the table, bills paid and keep these children in shoes and clothes that fit,the incarcerated parent is being served 3 meals a day, watching TV, playing cards and never once worrying about a single bill. Our government passed a law which any parent not paying their child support will be arrested and serve time. Did you know that even after their incarceration that over 90% of these "deadbeats" still refuse to pay even a penny of support to their children. For a lot of these men/women, doing time is not a punishment, but a vacation. They are comfortable and at home in the prison system, so the threat of going away for a few months is no threat at all. How exactly is this helping the responsible parent care for the child? I am a single mother of a 5 year old son who will grow to have no memories of his father. The court ordered him to pay a pathetic child support payment of $35 a week. I am still waiting to receive my first payment. He has spent the last many years in and out of the prison system. Are you aware that when their child support payments are calculated, they can DEDUCT the time spent in prison from their total amount due? Yes, I guess our government believes that we should also be held responsible for the actions of this person. I understand that forcing these people to pay what they owe while on the streets is a near impossible task, but "Austin's Law" proposes that while incarcerated, they should be forced to obtain a job within the system. Then any money they make will be sent to their children. As it is now, if they do decide to have a job, the money is applied to their "canteen" and they then can purchase "extra" for themselves. So even worse, as mothers drag their children to the food pantry for food to survive, the prisoner has his feet up watching TV having a snack he bought with his canteen money.This is completely unacceptable. Don't get me wrong, I love my son and would not change a thing. I DO NOT want this man, who feels like $35 a week is too much to spare for your own child, to be in his life. I will dedicate my life to raising a good man. The only way to do this is to surround him with good men. He is lucky enough to have many exceptional men in his life. He will be ok, we will make it. However, that does not make it right for anyone to be able to forget their responsibilities. These people need to pay and it seems the only time we can control it, is during incarceration.


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