New Hampshire Releases Needy Inmates With Nothing

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A New Hampshire budget crunch has eliminated the $100 formerly given to needy inmates on release. Now, if they don't have friends or relatives to come get them, prisoners may leave custody with nothing in their pockets, the Manchester Union Leader says. The prison system said it was forced to eliminate a $50,000 fund for “gate money.”

Until recently, the Department of Corrections handed inmates who needed it up to $100 cash – enough to rent a room and eat for a couple of days. In recent weeks, 87 people have been released without the pocket money.

Shawn Maguire, 28, found himself standing in the rain April 9 with $9.36 in his pocket, all that was left in his prison savings account. It wasn't enough to get a state identification card that costs $10.

Maguire is unusual because he was set free after serving a full sentence. Most prisoners leave on parole or to a halfway house to help make the adjustment to civilian life.


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