A fugitive people within a nation is tyranny.

Posts tagged ‘Discrimination’

Child Support Laws Crippling Poor Fathers

by Charles E. Lewis Jr., Ph.D

The more one learns about our system of criminal justice, the more one must wonder about some of its senseless policies.  That the United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world is pretty much common knowledge to most.  But in case you have been asleep at the wheel, here are some mind-numbing numbers. With about five percent of the world’s population, the United States is home to nearly 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population.  About 2.2 million people are locked behind bars on a given day.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 1,561,500 inmates in state and federal prisons at year-end 2014 (serving terms of one year or more) and another 744,660 in local jails at midyear 2014.  About 6.9 million Americans (one in 35 adults) were under some form of correctional supervision (incarcerated, on parole or probation) at yearend 2013.  The number of adult Americans with felony convictions is estimated to be about 24 million (8.6%).  About 25 percent of black American adults have a felony conviction.

That’s the big picture.  However, throughout our criminal justice system there are laws, regulations, and issues that are antithetical to the notion of a free and democratic society.  The coercive and often deadly policing of neighborhoods of color, discriminatory “stop and frisk” laws, criminalization of the mentally ill, bail policies that unfairly impact poor suspects, and what many consider to be the inhumane over dependence on and arbitrary use of solitary confinement.  Family members and friends are often forced to travel inordinate distances to visit children, friends, and other people they care for.  They are charged exorbitant fees to speak with them by telephone and are treated without dignity during visitation.  Much of this has occurred because various elected officials compete to see who can be toughest on people who defy the law.  Many books and hundreds of journal articles have been written about our unjust system of crime control.  My dissertation focused on the impact of incarceration on the earnings and employment of indigent fathers.

InmateThe Washington Post ran an article on one particularly perplexing policy impacting poor inmates which disproportionately affects black and Latino fathers.  Child support obligations continue during periods of incarceration which often amass significant amounts of debt while these fathers are behind bars.  Once released, indebted fathers are under pressure to pay down their arrears.  Failure to do so results in more late fees and penalties and could ultimately put them back in prison.  In many jurisdictions this occurs because incarceration is considered “voluntary impoverishment”.  The term generally refers to those who quit their jobs or otherwise forfeit income in order to avoid paying an ex-spouse alimony or child support.  A classic example might be Marvin Gaye’s 1978 release of “Here My Dear,” thought to be a lackluster recording whose proceeds were going to his ex-wife, Anna Gordy Gaye.

The idea that poor fathers would deliberately get themselves locked up to avoid paying child support is ludicrous on its face and a ridiculous justification for current policy.  Columbia University social work professor Ronald B. Mincy and Urban Institute scholar Elaine Sorensen first wrote about child support policies that were burying poor incarcerated fathers back in 1998 differentiating “deadbeat” dads from “turnips”.  Deadbeat dads were those who could afford to pay but did not.  Turnips were fathers who were unable to pay—the thinking being the old adage that you can’t get blood from a turnip.  Although there is a judge in Alabama who thinks giving blood is a reasonable substitute.

The Obama Administration believes current child support policy that piles debts on poor incarcerated fathers is helping no one.  It does nothing for the mother or her child’s circumstance.  Housing the father as an inmate is significantly more costly than what the state could recoup from fathers for welfare payments to their children.  Fathers are often removed permanently from the lives of their children which one could argue might be good or bad.  The Office of Child Support Enforcement has drafted new rules that will go into effect in 2017 that changes the definition of incarceration to “involuntary” impoverishment and would allow indigent incarcerated fathers to push the pause button or negotiate a payment reduction while incarcerated.

Not surprising Republican lawmakers oppose what appears to be a commonsense rule change.   Utah Senator Orin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have introduced legislation to block the new rules.  There are many things wrong with our current system of criminal justice and reform is moving at a glacial pace.  In the meantime, much too much human capital is being obliterated by the many indelible scars being inflicted on far too many people—particularly African American males.

Child Support Laws Crippling Poor Fathers was originally published @ Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy » Charles Lewis.

The Child Support System Should Support Families, Not Government Coffers

Child support is considered an antipoverty program because it forces noncustodial parents to contribute financially to their children’s care.

dollar bondageBut it also operates as a government cost-recovery strategy by reimbursing states and the federal government for benefits paid to mothers on behalf of children. As such, families on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families only receive about a quarter of the child support collected on their behalf. The majority of states keep all child support collected on behalf of these families, and fewer than half allow even a small pass-through of the child support they collect — typically $50 — to go to the child.

Child support orders are also proportionately very high given many men’s low incomes — 70 percent of the national uncollected child support debt is owed by noncustodial parents who have no quarterly earnings or who have annual earnings of less than $10,000.

disabled dadSome fathers pay up to 65 percent of their wages in child support and arrearages to the state. Such a high level of garnishment would severely strain almost any person’s budget, and drives many low-income men into severe poverty or the underground economy.

We now know that many low-income fathers want to contribute financially, but face barriers, including a lack of education and training, lack of employment and employment opportunities, race and class discrimination, criminal records and lack of credentials like a driver’s license, permanent address and previous work history.

Child support will never reach its full potential for providing income for our most vulnerable families without fundamental changes.

Child support payments should be passed through to the custodial parent in their entirety instead of being used to recoup government spending on children.

consentPayments should be set reasonably, with greater flexibility to adjust to the noncustodial parent’s income. Fathers can now request a review, but only if they know their rights and can navigate the judicial process, which the majority do not.

Fathers need to be armed with the training and skills to compete in this global economy so they can support themselves and pay child support. Training and employment supports can be either mandatory or voluntary, but they should be available.

slavery to childrenPunitive methods to coerce a “deadbeat” dad into paying, like incarceration, should only be used in cases where fathers demonstrate that they have the means to pay, but are unwilling to fulfill their obligations, not when they are unable to. The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement itself has said that “the average incarcerated parent with a child support case has $10,000 in arrears when entering state prison, and leaves with $20,000 in arrears. Not only is this debt unlikely to ever be collected, but it adds to the barriers formerly incarcerated parents face in reentering their communities.”

Kenneth Braswell is the executive director of Fathers Incorporated, a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible fatherhood and mentoring.

overthrow

Government & Child Support: A World Full of Deadbeats

by Samuel Gaddie

Mike O'Connell serves KentuckyHurray for the world! The new 2011 JCAO Child Support Obligor list is online for all of the public to view. In Mike O’Connell’s comments on WLKY NEWS that was aired advertising the DEADBEAT DADS LIST, he actually stated that he did not care who it embarrassed. So much for serving the public. Now there is a question that I would like to address to the FINANCE and Administration Cabinet, COT, CHFS, DCBS, FAMILY of Income Support, OIG, OGC, OAG, Office of the Ombudsman, Office of Records Management, DSE, and the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office Child Support Enforcement and I don’t care who it embarrasses.

Am I the only one on this list that has been denied access to my PHI and accounting disclosures in KASES regarding the KRS 61 Kentucky Open Records Act with contract compliance in regards to the Kentucky Child Support Handbook pursuant to HIPAA Guidelines? This is unlikely. You would think that the support obligation would be posted to reflect true numbers that should match dollar for dollar according to KARS (Kentucky child support system). I have over one hundred ORR in regards to my CS-71.1 Kentucky Obligation Worksheet and I am informed that this document does not exist. This is in violation of KRS 205.712 (i)(j).

I have been found GUILTY of FLAGRANT NON-SUPPORT three times , the third time while my four children were at home waiting for their father to go on vacation for two weeks. I was incarcerated and my 4 CHILDREN were taken away from me. I Spent 4 Months in a work release program that took 25% of my wages, also $20.00 for arrears per week extra even though there is no support obligation even established according to the Kentucky Child Support Handbook? I have lost many good paying jobs because of a CS-73 INCOME WITHHOLDING ORDER threatening my employer. I’ve heard over one thousand times I need to get a lawyer. According to the Kentucky Child Support Handbook if I am denied this document, this constitutes (DISCRIMINATION) denial of due process and a right to a fair hearing.(Kentucky Child Support Handbook sec.6.000 Confidentiality and Safeguarding Records and 200 KAR 1:020 STATUTORY AUTHORITY KRS 61.876(3) NECESSITY, FUNCTION, and CONFORMITY.)

I requested an Administrative Hearing from the County Ombudsman Joe D. Leavell to be able to question the arrears by mistake or fact according to Administrative Regulations, but it never happened, 6 months later I submitted a CS-180 to a Sheila Blevins the Regional Manager for CHFS and was allowed a Hearing that was according to anything but KRS, KAR, and Court Orders. Lola Ewing was the Hearing Officer and evidence shows that she is an abomination to her profession. Both Sheila Blevins and Lola Ewing done nothing but deny Kentucky Open Records and a right to a fair hearing. Both of them repeatedly tell me that I am wrong,  stating that my PHI was confidential and she can deny me access. I’m very tired but the Commission needs to know that I am prepared for the long haul pertaining to this issue.

kangaroo courtIs all the information online according to LAW just make believe? Am I the only one who can decipher proper interpretation of the Law? Compliance Officers are ignorant when it comes to interpretation of the law. Chip Ward of the Ombudsman’s Office (CHFS) tells me he reads every complaint that is entered into KASES (the computerized child support system) and it is recorded with my PHI, but it is all about interpretation of the Law. He ignored my pleas for help. There is a Child Support Specialist named Janice Taylor. Both Ward and Taylor  are ignorant and have no compassion providing services for CHFS and the Commonwealth. They are an abomination to the people they serve.

My case file can back up every word I am writing (Federal Case Registry IV-D #0001295436, OCSE Region VI, OCR Region VI #11-129842 (Miss Ivey Belton) KCHR complaint number that before it was closed #7063/#00818 by Miss Sherita Davis) are they are make believe to? Plain and simple, they like their comfort zone and are afraid to do their jobs. This is selfishness, even exploitation at the expense of others.

NCP/Right to Discover is a classic case of the “King Has No Clothes,” with big tears in my eyes I give a tribute to the author of the book. Everyone is entitled to a full and complete accounting statement since it is a free and public document. This isn’t happening. I have over four hundred E-Mails regarding this issue, the names reach from the Dept. of Revenue, Sarah E. Pence to JCAO, Joe D. Leavell the County Ombudsman, US Postal Mail Fraud, conspiracy to commit Fraud Malfeasance of contracting Agencies and Government employees, Kentucky Child Support Handbook sec. 5.000 ALLEGED FRAUD.

I have a signed Affidavit from the mother of my children, stating she had to borrow money from her mom and dad to feed my children and put a roof over their heads in 1994, went to work for Ford Motor Co. in 1993 she being recording testified to the Judge Honorable Patty Walker. Her Lawyer was her brother and he is now a Lawyer for the State. Why were they lying to the Court? This is considered Medicaid Fraud. I wonder where my CS-71.1 Obligation Worksheet went? Nobody is talking. They don’t want to rock the boat.

Kentucky bully list by Mike O'ConnellThis issue has been going on three years now. Why in GODS name do I need a lawyer that will do nothing but take what little money I already have? Mr. O’Connell, I am not a deadbeat dad and you are not allowed to slander my good name, nor are you fit to. This O’Connell is a bully and a common criminal.  You owe everyone on this manufactured list a public apology and so does WLKY News. The fact is that when any user opens the KASES INTRODUCTION Screen it has a warning to the caseworkers from the IRS stating that this computer is a PHI computer used to monitor PHI and is owned by the Federal Government. If the computer system is used for anything else it constitutes a violation of the Title 18 U.S.C. sec. 1030, which is protected by the Federal Government. Nobody is paying attention because they have dollar signs in their eyes!

The right to your public health statement is clearly made in  the Kentucky Child Support Handbook Introduction section under Public Health. Kentucky citizens and likely many others are being denied access to their personal PHI. You should have never put my NAME on that list. I have nothing to hide. Can somebody prove me wrong? No, they continue to gloss over matters and pretend that they are within the LAW. Tell Miss Angela Anton I send my regards. I will not be sending anymore written correspondences to the office I have already sent to many regarding this issue. The fraud is outright, the deception continues… and you don’t know it unless you are reading this article.

Creative Commons License
Government & Child Support: A World Full of Deadbeats by Samuel Gaddie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Fox zeroes in on 'Bad Dads'

Fox Network zeroes in on ‘Bad Dads’

Check out the dangerous and subversive mentality of this show…

After embracing the dark side of reality television with its marriage-busting hit “The Moment of Truth,” Fox’s newest project taps the power of its unscripted division for the forces of good.

The network has ordered a pilot from 3Ball Productions, in which an avenger of penniless single mothers hunts down deadbeat dads and forces them to pay child support.

Jim Durham, director of the National Child Support Center, functions as a sort of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” for tracking deadbeats. In the pilot, a financially destitute mom is contrasted with her wealthy ex-husband, who is living the high life. Durham confronts the man at his country club to shake him down in front his friends. It’s ambush reality TV — but for a noble cause.

“(Durham) calls them on the phone and gives them the chance to do the right thing,” said executive producer JD Roth (“The Biggest Loser,” “Beauty and the Geek”). “Of course, those calls are never met with anything but yelling. Then he goes into their life, finds out what kind of assets they have and makes their lives miserable — foreclose on their house, repossess their car. He will squeeze them until the women get paid.”

Roth sold the idea to Fox with the title “Deadbeat Dads.” But Fox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell famously concocts his own catchy titles for his shows. (“Nothing but the Truth” became “The Moment of Truth,” and “Do You Remember 5th Grade?” morphed into “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”) Darnell has rechristened “Deadbeat Dads” with the very-Fox working title “Bad Dads.”

Sluggish government agencies often fail to persuade financially liable fathers to pay child support. As of 2006, the nation’s cumulative uncollected child support stood at about $105 billion, according to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Last year’s federal budget cuts could make the problem even worse, potentially adding about $11 billion in uncollected child support over the next 10 years.

Durham’s National Child Support Center is one of several collection agencies that serve as a last resort for neglected single mothers. Some critics say such companies do more harm than good. Child support collectors have been accused of charging steep fees and using ultra-aggressive tactics. Durham bills his clients 34% of whatever he collects.

Roth counters that Durham’s clients typically feel so abandoned by the court system that they’re relieved to get any money at all. Plus, he said Durham is the only collector who extracts interest owed on the outstanding debt, so his clients often receive more money than if the absent dads had simply paid their bills.

As for the aggressive tactics, child support is not considered a debt per se, but an order of the court. Collectors are therefore not subject to following the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which regulates what tactics a collection agency can employ to collect a debt.

“I’m hoping that eventually this show changes how courts see deadbeat dads and how moms have to deal with it,” Roth said.

If greenlighted to series, “Bad Dads” will provide Fox a fresh take on the law enforcement reality show, a genre the network pioneered with such Saturday night staples as “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted.”

“I’ve seen ‘Cops,’ and I want to watch more than a crack addict with his pants around his ankles running away from a police car,” Roth said. “These guys owe money, and they should pay.”

TO PROTEST THIS PILOT SHOW CONTACT GLENN SACKS WEBSITE.

Protest Fox’s New Reality Show ‘Bad Dads’ !

FROM GLEN SACKS

PLEASE SEND A PROTEST EMAIL BY CLICKING HERE

Fox recently announced its intention to launch a new reality show called Bad Dads. According to Reuters, in Bad Dads Jim Durham, director of the National Child Support Center, “functions as a sort of ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ for tracking deadbeats…[Durham’s role is as] an avenger of penniless single mothers [who] hunts down deadbeat dads and forces them to pay child support…

“In the pilot, a financially destitute mom is contrasted with her wealthy ex-husband, who is living the high life. Durham confronts the man at his country club to shake him down in front his friends. It’s ambush reality TV.”

According to Reuters, Durham will target fathers who are behind on their child support by “making their lives miserable — foreclosing on their house, repossessing their car. He will squeeze them…”

This news was brought to our attention by our friend at Killing Marriage for Votes.

Tag Cloud