Luzerne County is owed approximately $63 million in fees and restitution from criminals who have been ordered to pay by the county. Facing a tax increase and layoffs the county officials are scrambling for ways to secure some of the outstanding debt. The county already takes 20% of the inmate’s accounts for restitution but this only amounts to approximately $2.00-3.00 per month per inmate. The county currently has a contract with a debt collection agency to collect debts that are in default for over three years. However, this only brings in approximately $80,000 per year. A driver’s license suspension program has generated approximately $30,000 from ex-offenders who didn’t want to lose their driving privileges (Wilkes Barre Tribune, 11/21/2013).
December 31, 2013