The Main Stream

Jul 19, 2012 12:51 PM

Arizona collects on improper payments to prisoners



PHOENIX (AP) - State officials have recouped about $55,000 of the more than $1.1 million in unemployment benefits improperly paid to prisoners.

The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/Mnk6yI ) reports that 475 inmates had been issued payments from January 2010 to January 2012. The discovery came after the state Department of Economic Security cross-checked its unemployment benefit rolls with a list of state prisoners in February.

Prisoners cannot work so they're not eligible for the benefits.

A deputy assistant with the department says one prisoner collected about $10,000 over 46 weeks, though the average overpayment was around $2,900. Mark Darmer says the state has recovered money from 67 people so far.

Darmer says the department would set up repayment plans for others, and seek to intercept state or federal tax refunds to pay off the balances.

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