bestnom1000x50

Maine's GOP AG and gov again imprison a social problem rather than solving it

Last month, I wrote about the demonization and criminalization of the needy, noting that rather than actually fix social problems, conservative politicians make them worse and then blame the victims for having the problems in the first place. My piece was called "Barely Hanging On: Fraud Isn't Killing Maine's Welfare System - Conservative Misunderstanding Is."

As an example case, I wrote about the difficult case of Kathleen Schidzig, who is in prison for a year - at a taxpayer cost of $45,000 - after pleading "no contest" to charges she stole $18,000 in welfare benefits.

Into the email box today comes another example. Here's the press release from the Attorney General, explaining how taxpayers are now going to pay $180,000 to imprison a needy woman who should not have gotten roughly $60,000 in benefits.

I ask again: Is this the best use of taxpayer money? And is there anything we could do differently that would actually help these people, rather than turn them into unemployed people with criminal records?

 

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0pc .45pc 0pc .45pc; mso-para-margin:0pc; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;}

Brunswick Woman Sentenced For Stealing Food Stamps and Child Care Reimbursement Benefits

AUGUSTA – Attorney General William J. Schneider announced that Sarah E. Fairbanks, 40, of Brunswick, was sentenced today in Cumberland County Superior Court.

Fairbanks was convicted by a jury on November 30, 2012 of one count of Class B theft and two counts of unsworn falsification for providing false information to the Department of Health and Human Services in order to obtain welfare benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps) and Child Care Development Fund Voucher Program (CCDF).

Fairbanks was sentenced to five years imprisonment with all but thirteen months suspended, three years of probation and restitution in the amount of $59,816.38.

“The successful result in this case is due to the focused and effective partnership between DHHS and our prosecutors. We are committed to working together to ensure accountability for the proper use of our limited resources,” said Attorney General Schneider.

This case was investigated by the Maine DHHS Fraud Investigation and Recovery Unit. Assistant Attorney General Peter Black handled this matter for Attorney General Schneider’s Criminal Division.


| More


ADVERTISEMENT
 Friends' Activity   Popular 
All Blogs
Follow the Phoenix
  • newsletter
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • youtube
  • rss
ADVERTISEMENT
Latest Comments
ADVERTISEMENT
Search Blogs
 
Links
Strange Maine - winner, The Best Blog, Portland Phoenix, 2008
Black Bird Legal Collective - A Portland-based legal-activist group
DowneastBlog - You tell us what they think
Local Foodie - Portland-based local-foods blog
Media Nation - A media-watch column by journalism professor and Phoenix contributor Dan Kennedy
Organizing Notes - Comments from Maine peace-and-justice activist Bruce Gagnon
Portland Greens - Updates from Portland's Green Party
Portland on Wikipedia - See what the crowdsourcing crowd is saying
Where There's Wil, There's Always A Way - winner, The Best Blog, Portland Phoenix, 2007
Portland Museum of Art blog -
Have Faith In Worthless Knowledge - The SPACE Gallery blog
Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition - Activists for prisoners' rights
About Town Archives