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County Mulls Using Inmate Accounts To Repay Taxpayers

(Photo Credit: Think Stock)

(Photo Credit: Think Stock)

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YORK, Pa. (AP) – Officials in a central Pennsylvania county are debating whether money should be deducted from the personal accounts of prison inmates to pay money owed to victims and taxpayers.

Inmates at York County Prison use the accounts to buy snacks, sweatpants and other items from the commissary as well as paying for haircuts and contributing toward medical costs. They aren’t allowed to carry cash.

Don O’Shell, the county chief of courts, said the county should deduct a percentage from the accounts to pay court-ordered costs, fines and restitution.

He said Westmoreland County Prison began doing that in mid-July and collected close to $15,000 by the end of last month.

Some officials expressed concern about the idea. Warden Mary Sabol said it could lead to groups being treated differently, spawning security concerns.

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(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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