The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Stealing from Prisoners

Dec 7, 2015

Johnny Melton won $31,690 to settle a lawsuit over his mother’s death while he was incarcerated for a drug conviction. But the Illinois Department of Corrections turned around and sued him for the money–to pay for the cost of locking him up! After he was paroled, Melton wound up in a homeless shelter, on food stamps, and died soon after, destitute.

Melton’s case is not alone. One inmate won $50,000 in a lawsuit against the Department for failing to treat his cancer–and they turned around and sued him for $175,000!

It’s not just people who won suits. In another case, the Department sued a man who had saved a few thousand dollars from his $75 a month job as a prison carpenter. The Department sued another inmate who inherited $14,000 from his grandmother.

And this doesn’t just happen in Illinois. At least 43 states allow officials to seek money from prisoners.

It’s not enough for these disgusting jailors to ruin people’s lives, take their freedom, and make sure they can’t have a job. They want to steal inmates’ last dime.