Did you know that people who are prisoners in the state of Maine are eligible for unemployment benefits? I did not know that, and I am sure this light being shed on this newfound information is minding blowing. According to News Center Maine, Inmates from the Maine Department of Corrections Work release program were receiving unemployment benefits and the $600 a week stipend from the Federal unemployment package. 

Now before we go into full-scale judgment mode, work release plans are usually available to prisoners who are low-risk offenders that may have outstanding fines or child support to pay which means they are literally paying their debt to society. That being said, they are still being taken care of by and property are of the State of Maine. 


“I not only find this appalling and to be bad public policy, I also do not believe that it was the intent of the Legislature or the Congress to allow inmates to receive state or federal benefits, including the $600 weekly PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) payment,” Mills said in the letter to Commissioner Liberty.

With that information in mind, does the Govorner have a point in saying, you can't have that money? On the one hand, the state is providing housing, clothing, and food, for the inmates, there should be no reason for him or her to be taking money back from the state with those needs being met. Then look on the other side of the equation is that work release checks are taxed just like ours, their employers are paying into the unemployment fund, should they have the right to be able to pay their debt to society at a time when they expected to be working but cannot? What are your thoughts? 


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