Arkansas Prisoners and COVID Relief Payments

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Arkansas Prisoners and COVID Relief Payments

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This article details a court ruling that requires the Arkansas Department of Corrections to pay out over $2.5 million dollars in withheld COVID relief money from the federal government. When COVID stimulus relief checks were rolled out, any money going to those incarcerated in Arkansas was immediately confiscated by the Arkansas Department of Corrections and placed within the state prison budget. Several inmates then sued the Department of Corrections demanding the payment of their stimulus. While the Department of Corrections alleged that they were entitled to the money due to the inmates being under their jurisdiction, this ruling requires the immediate repayment of all stimulus money. This story demonstrates not only a conflict within the Arkansas prison system, but also the tremendous legal questions the pandemic opened as well as the questionable conduct spurred by government officials in response.

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This item was submitted on July 11, 2022 by Brett Reinert (He/Him) using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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