Ex-Inmate’s Court Fees Surged 1,000% While He Was In Prison. Now He Struggles To Buy Food

By Robbie Couch

When he was convicted of three drug charges in Washington state and sentenced to prison, he owed $1,800 in court fees — $600 for each charge. Shaw told HuffPost Live on Wednesday that the judge had stated those charges could be paid after he became a free man once again.

Upon his release from prison 14 years later, however, that number had skyrocketed to $21,000 — about a 1,066 percent increase. Shaw had been told during his 10th year behind bars that while he was serving the rules had changed — those charges had been collecting interest at Washington’s staggering rate of 12 percent.

“When I go to apply for a job, when I go to try to get a vehicle, or when I try to do anything where I need to run credit, they see I owe $21,000, and that makes it hard,” Shaw said, also noting he frequently has to choose between basic everyday purchases, like food and gas, or paying off his legal financial obligations (LFOs).

Curated from www.huffingtonpost.com

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