Ready to work, right out of high school

Ready to work, right out of high school

Georgia’s public-school teachers should be proud of the work they’ve done to raise graduation rates in our state. Since 2011, graduation rates have increased by more than 14 percent, with 81.6 percent of the class of 2018 graduating. It’s an improvement that has moved Georgia, mercifully, out of the bottom tier of states. This is no small achievement and marks a dramatic improvement in the opportunities and prospects for the students who would not have graduated otherwise.

But graduating high school is not enough to ensure that our students succeed as they launch into the critical first years of their adult life. While college attendance is an important next step for many Georgia students, it’s not the route that most take.

According to a recent study from the University of Pennsylvania, only 31 percent of 18-24-year-olds in Georgia are in college. Of those who do attend college, completion isn’t guaranteed. According to research from the Georgia Governor’s Office for Student Achievement, only 27 percent of the class of 2012 (the most recent year available) had a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, or certificate five years after graduating from high school.

And then there’s the large number of young adults in the state who are still trying to find their way years after high school. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, in 2017 Georgia had 123,000 young adults aged 20-24 who were neither in school nor working. That’s nearly one in five people in that age group.

So, if nearly 70 percent of students are not going to college and a very high percentage are still floundering into their early 20s, what’s the solution for helping them find a path to a rewarding, self-supporting career?

An important answer, according to Dr. Robert Lerman of the Urban Institute, is apprenticeships—where students start working while high school juniors and seniors in fields that lead to credentials and, importantly, careers immediately after graduation. Dr. Lerman’s work researching apprenticeships spans decades and covers most of the globe. His research has shown that apprenticing is one of (if not the most) effective way to ensure that students who are not college bound find their way into a well-paying, sustainable career.

In the last two years, GCO has worked with Dr. Lerman to research the role of apprenticeships in Georgia and to provide recommendations on how to expand an already well-structured program into one that meets student demand.

Dr. Lerman’s most recent report, released just this week, focuses on Georgia’s Youth Apprenticeship program, created in the mid 1990s with fewer than 400 student participants. Today, the program has grown to more than 3,000 students in nearly 350 schools across the state. State funding of the program is relatively modest at $3 million annually and mostly funds program coordinators who oversee student participation and work to attract businesses to offer apprenticeship opportunities.

According to the report, demand for apprenticeships of this kind is high in Georgia. Dr. Lerman has estimated elsewhere that Georgia needs nearly 100,000 apprenticeships in order to meet that demand. Why hasn’t apprenticeship availability kept pace with student demand, according to Dr. Lerman? Based on interviews and surveys of program coordinators, the primary answer is that companies are skittish to offer jobs to high school students. This is due to the fear of liability for such young workers and related costs.

But, according to Dr. Lerman, these fears are largely unfounded and based on inaccurate assumptions about what the law requires and the cost of hiring younger workers. He cites Southwire as a prime example of a company that has successfully embraced apprenticeships since the 1990s and now employs more than 300 students. And Southwire has intentionally sought out students who are known to be at risk of falling into poverty and suffering from related issues, complexities not faced by the majority of students who would seek apprenticeship opportunities.

For the companies that are currently providing apprenticeships, Dr. Lerman points to regular reports of high levels of satisfaction (more than 90 percent) as a reason to be optimistic that, with accurate information and an opportunity to participate, more companies can be convinced to join the effort.

And, at GCO, we believe now is the perfect time to expand apprenticeships in Georgia. As the chart below demonstrates, the job market is tight in a way that hasn’t been seen for nearly two decades, with more job openings than job seekers. Surely now is the time to scale up apprenticeships to create a pathway from high school to work for those hundreds of thousands of students and young adults in our state who are not college-bound but are full of potential and have great things to offer to any company willing to take a chance on them. We owe it to them to make it happen.   

Choosing Between Family or Welfare Benefits

Choosing Between Family or Welfare Benefits

We know that to avoid poverty, it is essential to get a high school diploma, maintain a steady job, and marry before having children (see research from the Brookings Institution and Harvard University on these points). Not only are they key to avoiding poverty, upward mobility and financial stability are closely tied to this family-education-work sequence, as well.

That is why our recent reports are so disturbing. They show that most of our welfare programs are systematically undermining two of the three keys to avoiding poverty and are doing so for some of the most vulnerable groups in our society.

In the first paper, Disincentives for Work and Marriage in Georgia’s Welfare System, we show that many of our welfare programs – alone or when combined –actually penalize earning more and create dramatic “welfare cliffs”.

For many parents on public assistance, receiving a raise or working longer hours can result in dramatic reductions in welfare benefits, often completely erasing what they gain by working more or receiving a raise. Even worse, there are times when earning more money through additional work or a pay raise can result in less income to the family because government benefits are reduced so much all at one time.

When families find themselves in this position, they are effectively locked into dependency, unable to work themselves into self-sufficiency without having to endure sometimes long, crippling periods of financial hardship.

To make matters worse, a similar set of perverse incentives exist when a parent on welfare decides to marry.

For many moms on public assistance for example, deciding to marry a boyfriend or the father of their children can mean that family income is dramatically reduced due to an immediate and steep loss of benefits. In many cases, the disincentives to marriage only go away if the potential husband is earning much more money than would be expected or likely under the circumstances. The result is that these moms must choose between forming a family (and the financial and relational stability it can bring in the long-term) or the short-term financial health of their families.

For a parent in this position, it is easy to see why many would simply choose to stay single and cohabit rather than marry. Unfortunately, research also shows that cohabiting couples struggle with relational instability in ways that married couples do not, so the welfare system ends up encouraging people to enter into relationships that are less likely to last and less likely to provide the stability that would allow them to escape poverty.

While the welfare system was not intentionally designed to work this way, it is unjust nonetheless. If it worked as it should, the system would encourage work and family formation at every turn – as the surest antidotes to poverty.

That is why in our next report, we will be setting out a suggested set of reforms that the state and federal governments can adopt to reform the system in a way that creates a sustainable safety-net that encourages the behaviors that we know are needed for individuals and families to escape and stay out of poverty. We will also be providing a plan for a how a state can implement these reforms on the ground if it chooses to take on reforming the system.

If you want to see how the welfare cliff works for different family types and in each of Georgia’s 159 counties, visit www.welfarecliff.org.

Disappearing Act: How an Entire Class is Fading From America

Disappearing Act: How an Entire Class is Fading From America

While lower, middle and upperclass can be defined in various ways, a State of the States report, defined lower class as those who did not complete high school; middle class (or moderately-educated, as referred to in the report) as those who graduated high school but did not go on to complete college; and upper class individuals as those who graduated from college.

The middle class has seen a 29 percent rise in women cohabiting between 1988 and the late 2000s. Historically, the lower class has always had a higher percentage of women who cohabited, but with the recent percentage increases, the middle class is almost equal to the lower class.

Out-of-wedlock childbearing more than doubled for the middle class between 1982 and the late 2000s; completely outpacing the lower class with a more than 30-point jump. In contract, those considered highly educated, or college graduates, only saw a very small increase of out-of-wedlock births.

Both lower and upper class couples had a decrease in divorce rates from the 1970s to 1990s (with the drop in divorces for lower class individuals, unfortunately, primarily attributable to much lower marriage rates).

The increase in cohabitation, divorce, and out-of-wedlock childbearing shows the middle class is now morphing into something that looks much more like the lower class. These changes appear to, at least in part, be driving a perception that the traditional “American Dream” is more and more out of reach for the average Americans. As the report points out, however, the American Dream is becoming more elusive because some of the habits that help assure financial success – like having babies after getting married – are becoming much less common.

While many factors have contributed to the middle class falling further behind the upper class, (including unemployment, lower wages, fewer social connections and less social capital) the strongest factor seems to be the failure to follow the ‘success sequence.’

As explained by Bradford Wilcox and Elizabeth Marquardt, the success sequence has long been the routine of those considered the upper class.  They “embrace[d] the bourgeois values and virtues—for instance, delayed gratification, a focus on education, and temperance…[and] adhere devoutly to a “success sequence” norm that puts education, work, marriage, and childbearing in sequence, one after another.” Until quite recently, the middle class has embraced the important aspects of the success sequence in its behavior, which has allowed it to enjoy financial stability. By abandoning marriage, the middle class is abandoning the institution that allowed it to thrive. In many ways – and especially financially – it is now paying a price.

In order for the middle class to reappear from its disappearing act, marriage and the key supports that make successful family life more likely – a quality education and stable employment – must be addressed. This is the essence of our work and the decline of the middle class in America is one of the reasons we believe this work is more urgent than ever.

 

AEI Event: Improving Prisoner Reentry and Reducing Recidivism

Man in handcuffs

Watch a recording of the event here.

Georgia Center for Opportunity was privileged to partner with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in co-hosting an event on the issue of prisoner reentry at AEI’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, July 28th.

The event featured two panels: The first consisting of non-profits leaders who have faced challenges and successes in helping former prisoners successfully reintegrate into society, and the second featuring government leaders who have similarly faced challenges and successes in working to reform the criminal justice system itself.

GCO’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Eric Cochling, moderated the first panel that featured four non-profit leaders, including Craig DeRoche of Justice Fellowship, Harriet McDonald of The Doe Fund, Bryan Kelley of Prison Entrepreneurship Program, and Harold Dean Trulear of Healing Communities. The panelists discussed such themes as the importance for Americans to view prisoners and people with a criminal record as a valuable asset to society, the importance of work and its role in promoting human dignity and successful reintegration, the necessity for returning citizens to experience a change in attitudes and values to avoid recidivating, and the role of the community in embracing returning citizens and “walking with” them in their journey.

The second panel was moderated by Robert Doar, Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies at AEI, and featured three government leaders: Georgia’s own Jay Neal, former state representative and current executive director of the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Reentry, Gary Mohr, commissioner of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and Chauncey Parker, special policy advisor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. This panel highlighted specific approaches that states have taken to improve prisoner reentry as a means of promoting public safety, including instilling the mindset that reentry begins at the point of arrest, basing decisions on data instead of knee-jerk reactions, facilitating better connections between family members and incarcerated loved ones, and instilling the importance of viewing offenders as human beings among the criminal justice workforce.

Watch the event and gain a better understanding of how effective collaboration between families, faith communities, service providers, and the government, as well as a changed perception of the ones they are serving, is essential for promoting successful reintegration among returning citizens.

 

Minimizing Debt and Promoting Successful Reentry

Businessman walking through open door.jpg

This is the final entry in a series of posts highlighting GCO’s report, A High Price to Pay: Recommendations for Minimizing Debt’s Role in Driving Recidivism Rates. The first entry provided an overview of the report, the second entry laid out causes of debt for people reentering society from prison, and the third entry details the consequences of debt for returning citizens .This final post summarizes what has been said so far and outlines recommendations for the state to implement.

It is in the state’s interest and in the interest of justice for returning citizens[1] to pay debts and obligations owed to family members, victims, courts, and criminal justice agencies. Children need financial support from parents who have been incarcerated, victims ought to receive just compensation for losses and damages they have suffered, and courts and criminal justice agencies should be reimbursed for services that they provide. Nonetheless, for many people reentering society after a period of incarceration, debts and the inability to earn money while in prison create serious obstacles to a successful transition.

It is not uncommon for returning citizens to leave prison owing tens of thousands of dollars in child support arrears, restitution, court fines, fees, and surcharges to criminal justice agencies. Unrealistic terms for repaying these debts can discourage them from paying anything at all and encourages returning citizens to engage in the illegal, underground economy as a means of earning an income. Such actions result in probation or parole violations and may result in re-incarceration, the ultimate measure of recidivism.

Enforcing the repayment of debts and obligations without considering the needs and financial circumstances of returning citizens works contrary to the interests of all stakeholders involved. At least 95 percent of those who enter state prisons will return to society at some point, and these citizens often struggle to provide for their own basic needs upon release, much less service the debt they have incurred as a result of their conviction. Simply affording rent payments, buying food and clothing, and covering transportation expenses can be remarkably difficult for a person with a criminal record. The state needs to take this into consideration and set realistic terms for returning citizens to pay current obligations and repay debts, while at the same time establishing a reliable, coordinated, and systematic approach for the collection of money that is due. Such reform would increase the amount of money received by families, victims, courts, and criminal justice agencies, while decreasing the costs associated with recidivism.

The state of Georgia should consider implementing the following recommendations as a means of encouraging returning citizens to repay their debts and obligations while taking into consideration their need to be successfully reintegrated and reestablished within the community:

Identify offenders with child support involvement upon entry to prison

The state should identify offenders with child support responsibilities upon entry to prison by electronically matching the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) and Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) agency caseloads using common identifiers such as social security numbers and birth dates. This data match will allow the DCSS to provide pertinent information to incarcerated non-custodial parents concerning their child support obligation(s), as well as identify those who need to establish paternity and/or child support orders but have not already done so.

Provide child support information and services to parents during their incarceration

Once identified, the DCSS should inform incarcerated non-custodial parents of the amount of their child support obligation(s), notify them periodically of the amount their arrears have accrued, work with them to develop a plan for meeting these obligations upon release, and inform them of the incentives available to them through the state for consistent payment of support.

Provide a 90-day grace period to ease the transition phase

Upon release, the court and DCSS should automatically review the amount of child support returning citizens can pay on a case-by-case basis. Those who have no means of paying anything at that time should be given a grace period of 90 days before having to pay their obligations and repay debt. This grace period will provide them time to find a job, housing, transportation, and other essential needs that can enable them to meet their obligation. After the 90 days, those who still cannot pay their child support orders should be referred to the Georgia Fatherhood Program (GFP) or a Child Support Problem Solving Court (PSC) to receive additional help in finding a job and meeting their obligations.

Limit amount of wages to be garnished by the state

For returning citizens who have a job and are able to pay some amount of child support, the court should determine on a case-by-case basis the amount of wages to be garnished from their paycheck. The court should take into consideration such factors as the returning citizen’s income, cost of living, and other dependents that he or she is taking care of. The state should set a ceiling of 50 percent as the maximum percentage of wages to be withheld from a returning citizen – something which a third of the states have already done.

Forgive fines, fees, and surcharges owed to the state

The state should consider incentivizing returning citizens to pay child support and restitution by forgiving (or waiving) all or some of the fines, fees, and surcharges owed to the state for those who meet their monthly obligations. Forgiving these expenses in exchange for consistent payments would encourage greater compliance among returning citizens, which means that families and victims would receive more money in the long run. The state should tie participation in reparative activities as a condition for receiving these benefits, including drug treatment services, GFP, a PSC, or community service projects.

Reinstate driver’s licenses that were suspended for non-payment of child support

The state should lift driver’s license suspensions for returning citizens’ whose licenses were suspended because they were more than 60 days in arrears in making payments in full for current support, periodic payments on a support arrearage, or periodic payments on a reimbursement for public assistance. To maintain driving privileges, the state should require that returning citizens be actively seeking a job or actively working, and that they consistently pay child support according to their means.

Forgive arrears and interest owed to the state

The state should forgive arrears and interest owed to the state in order to motivate obligors to comply with long-term payment plans, to eliminate uncollectible debt, to facilitate case closure where appropriate, and to help families become more self-sufficient. To receive this benefit, the state should require that returning citizens make a set number of consecutive payments in exchange for a set percentage of arrears and interest owed to the state to be forgiven. Returning citizens should also have a determined minimum amount of arrears to participate in the debt compromise program.

Designate a single agency to track and consolidate returning citizens’ debts

One agency should be designated to track and consolidate individual returning citizens’ debts in a centralized tracking system and ensure that it remains updated as the person travels through the criminal justice system and is released into the community. This agency should be responsible for collecting all offense-related debt and disbursing funds according to the priority set by the federal and state government.[2] Regular updates concerning the total amount of debt owed and expected dates and amounts of repayment should be sent to returning citizens, victims, courts, and criminal justice agencies. Courts and criminal justice agencies should use this information to establish realistic repayment plans for returning citizens based on their financial situation.

 

Footnotes

[1] We realize that some will be frustrated by our use of the term “returning citizen” in this report and would prefer to see us use a more familiar term such as “ex-offender.” Our use of the term “returning citizen” is intended not as a political statement but as an acknowledgement that almost all offenders will return to our community at some point in the future and that it is in our best interest to think of offenders in that light, as our thinking will shape how we treat them during incarceration and what we expect of them upon release.

[2] Offense-related debt does not include child support, which is collected and tracked by DCSS and cannot be consolidated with restitution, fines, fees, and surcharges. Nonetheless, the amount of child support that has been collected should also be tracked by the agency that is consolidating offense-related debts, because the amount that goes toward child support (which must be paid first in priority according to federal law) impacts the amount that can be paid toward these other debts.

Endnotes

To view the endnotes included within the recommendations section of the report, please click here.

 

***Edit to the report: May 6, 2015

At the time of writing the report, the author was unaware that Georgia already has a detailed debt reduction program in place to assist indigent non-custodial parents who owe arrears to the state. The Division of Child Support Services’ (DCSS) State Debt Reduction Program (SDRP) provides non-custodial parents the ability to have a significant percentage of their state-owed arrears reduced if an agent determines that:

(1) “Good cause” existed for the nonpayment of the public assistance debt;

(2) Repayment or enforcement of the debt would result in substantial and unreasonable hardship for the parent owing the debt;

(3) The non-custodial parent is currently unable to pay the debt;

(4) The non-custodial parent is making regular payments of current child support, regardless of the amount.

The amount that eligible non-custodial parents can have their arrears reduced depends upon the amount they owe. Those with a greater amount of arrears owed to the state are eligible to have a greater percentage reduced (with the exception of those who owe less than $100, who can have their entire state-owed arrears balance waived). For example, non-custodial parents with state-owed arrears balances of $9,000 or greater can have their arrears waved or reduced by 75 percent, so long as they pay the remaining 25 percent owed in a lump sum payment or in 24 monthly installments.[i]

While Georgia has a detailed debt reduction program in place, it appears that the participation in the program is limited. In 2014, only 349 out of the 354,427 total non-custodial parents ordered to pay child support in Georgia entered into the plan, based on the 30 DCSS offices that reported.[ii]* More should be done to enroll struggling returning citizens with child support arrears owed to the state into the program. One way the state can do this is by promoting it within the Fatherhood Program and Child Support Problem Solving Courts (PSCs), which returning citizens will be likely to participate in.

Sources:

[i] Division of Child Support Services, “State Debt Reduction Guidelines,” Employee Reference Guide – Standard Operating Procedure 251, Email Release May 24, 2013.

[ii] Erica Thornton, Manager of the Policy and Paternity Unit, Division of Child Support Services, Georgia Department of Human Services, email message to author, February 3, 2015; Georgia Department of Human Services, “Division of Child Support Services: Fact Sheet,” Revised November 2014.

*While not all 354,427 non-custodial parents ordered to pay child support in Georgia owe arrears to the state, the large figure suggests that there may be numerous non-custodial parents (particularly those reentering society from prison) who do (or should) qualify for the program, but are currently being overlooked.

The Consequences of Debt for Returning Citizens

Behind chain-linked fence

This is the third entry in a series of posts highlighting GCO’s report, A High Price to Pay: Recommendations for Minimizing Debt’s Role in Driving Recidivism Rates. The first entry provided an overview of the report and the second entry laid out causes of debt for people reentering society from prison.

An inordinate amount of debt and unrealistic terms of repayment create numerous barriers for returning citizens, including disproportionate financial pressure, the threat of revocation and re-incarceration, and various penalties for non-compliance.

Mounting Financial Pressure

Having to immediately begin paying financial obligations upon release combined with carrying thousands of dollars in debt puts tremendous financial pressure on returning citizens. Many leave prison with great anxiety wondering where they will live and work, and some possess only what they were given upon release: $25, a change of civilian clothes, and a bus ticket to their release destination.[i] A great number of returning citizens do not have a decent-paying job prior to prison,[1],[ii] and their prospect of finding one after release is slim.[iii] One study reveals that three-fourths of people released from prison owing child support, restitution, and supervision fees reported having difficulty paying off these debts.[iv] They may be willing to make these payments but simply do not have the means to do so right away.

Threat of Revocation or Arrest

The payment of debts and obligations is a condition of probation and parole in Georgia;[v] therefore, a violation of these conditions by failing to pay can result in a revocation hearing.[vi] While it is not common practice for the Parole Board to revoke a parolee solely for his or her failure to pay financial obligations,[vii] in some jurisdictions revocation hearings are regularly sought for those on probation.[viii] One public defender in Georgia reports that probationers who cannot pay criminal justice debt are often arrested for failing to report to officers who are involved in collection.[ix] This may not result in re-incarceration, but it may cause a person to miss work and subsequently lose his or her job. However, those who fail to appear at a payment hearing can have a warrant issued for their arrest.[x] Further, Georgia law requires a person to remain under probation supervision until all outstanding obligations are paid, or until the termination of the sentence, depending on whichever comes first.[xi]

Penalties for Non-Compliance

For those who do not pay court-ordered financial obligations and debt, Georgia law allows for garnishment, levy, foreclosure, and all other actions provided for the collection of fines, costs, and restitution.[xii] This can be detrimental for a returning citizen who is struggling to make ends meet. Unpaid debt also may lead to the suspension of one’s driver’s license, making transportation to and from work very challenging, since Georgia law allows for the suspension of a driver’s license for any person who has accumulated child support arrears equivalent to or greater than two months’ worth of payments.[2],[xiii] This barrier can impede a person’s ability to find work and earn income, leading to more and more debt accumulating. In addition, criminal justice debt can be converted into a civil judgment which allows credit reporting agencies access to the information. This in turn damages – or further damages – a returning citizen’s credit, making it more difficult to obtain employment and housing.[xiv]

A combination of these barriers may lead a returning citizen to become desperate and resort to engaging in the underground economy as a means of supporting himself or herself, or paying his or her debts.[xv] As a result, the returning citizen may face re-incarceration for committing new offenses,[xvi] leading to more debt accumulation and increased costs to taxpayers.

 

Footnotes

[1] Fifty-nine percent of people detained in jails across the nation in 2002 reported monthly incomes of less than $1,000 prior to arrest.

[2] Suspending and reinstating driver’s licenses is an administrative process that is handled by the DCSS.

 

Endnotes

Some of the citations listed below are abbreviated. To view the full citation, see the “Notes” section in our report, A High Price to Pay.

[i] Laurie Linke and Peggy Ritchie, Releasing Inmates from Prison: Profiles of State Practices, U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, September 2004, 25, https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.nicic.gov/,76 (tution Procedures,”Library/ 021386.pdf.

[ii] Doris J. James, Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 201932, July 2004, revised October 12, 2004, 9, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/pji02.pdf.

[iii] Devah Pager, Bruce Western, and Naomi Sugie, “Sequencing Disadvantage: Barriers to Employment Facing Young Black and White Men with Criminal Records,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 623 (2009): 195-213, National Institutes of Health Public Access, Author Manuscript, available in PMC February 27, 2013, 4, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583356/.

[iv] Rachel L. McLean and Michael D. Thompson, Repaying Debts, 8; Nancy G. La Vigne, Christy Visher, and Jennifer Castro, Chicago Prisoners’ Experiences Returning Home, Urban Institute, December 2004, 10, http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311115_ChicagoPrisoners.pdf.

[v] Alicia Bannon, Mitali Nagrecha, and Rebekah Diller, Criminal Justice Debt, 21, endnote 118; Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, “Parole Conditions,” accessed July 24, 2014, http://pap.georgia.gov/parole-conditions.

[vi] Alicia Bannon, Mitali Nagrecha, and Rebekah Diller, Criminal Justice Debt, 25.

[vii] Robert Keller, Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support, and Reentry, email message to author, April 1, 2014.

[viii] Alicia Bannon, Mitali Nagrecha, and Rebekah Diller, Criminal Justice Debt, 21, endnote 119.

[ix] Ibid., endnote 145; See Telephone Interview with Nick White, Defender, Houston County Pub. Defender Office, Nov. 6, 2009.

[x] Ibid.

[xi] O.C.G.A. § 17-10-1(a)(2): “Probation supervision shall terminate in all cases no later than two years from the commencement of probation supervision unless specially extended or reinstated by the sentencing court upon notice and hearing and for good cause shown; provided, however, in those cases involving the collection of fines, restitution, or other funds, the period of supervision shall remain in effect for so long as any such obligation is outstanding, or until termination of the sentence, whichever first occurs.”

[xii] Ibid., endnote 196. See O.C.G.A § 17-10-20(c): “Fines and restitution can be collected through levy, foreclosure, garnishment, and all other actions provided for the enforcement of judgments in Georgia”; See O.C.G.A.§ 42-8-34.2(a) “authorizing the collection of ‘arrearage . . . through issuance of a writ of fiera facias’ from defendants for whom payment of fines, costs, and restitution is a condition of probation. However, no one the Brennan Center interviewed knew of wage garnishment or liens being used in practice.”

[xiii] O.C.G.A. § 19-6-28.1(b); Tina Brooks, Parental Accountability Court Coordinator for the Flint Judicial Circuit, email message to the author, July 31, 2014.

[xiv] Alicia Bannon, Mitali Nagrecha, and Rebekah Diller, Criminal Justice Debt, 27; See O.C.G.A. § 17-10-20(a): “In any case in which a fine or restitution is imposed as part of the sentence, such fine and restitution shall constitute a judgment against the defendant”; Jonathan D. Glater, “Another Hurdle for the Jobless: Credit Inquiries,” New York Times, August 6, 2009, accessed April 10, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/07/business/07credit.html? pagewanted=all&_r=0.

[xv] Kirsten D. Levingston and Vicki Turetsky, “Debtors’ Prison – Prisoners’ Accumulation of Debt as a Barrier to Reentry,” Clearinghouse Review Journal of Poverty Law and Policy 41 (2007): 188, http://www.clasp.org/docs/ 0394.pdf.

[xvi] Alicia Bannon, Mitali Nagrecha, and Rebekah Diller, Criminal Justice Debt, 24.