Nearly 5 million people are arrested and booked into jail in the U.S. every year. For many of these people, being arrested begins a downward financial spiral.
During their incarceration, many inmates carry or incur debts. Commissary and supervision fees charged by most prisons can add up. Moreover, many sentences include fines and restitution. These financial penalties are often so large they take years to pay after release.
Additionally, inmates might incur substantial debt from unpaid obligations on the outside. When you are arrested and sent to jail, you might have utility bills, a lease or mortgage, child support, taxes, and other expenses that accumulate while you are in jail.
Bail can sometimes help you settle your affairs before you go to jail. Bail bondsmen ensure your appearance in court by pledging money or property as bail. But if you cannot get bail, you might not be able to close accounts before you go into jail.
As a result, almost every inmate deals with debt after release. Here are three steps to dealing with debt after incarceration.