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NCJ Number: 44016 Find in a Library
Title: MEN WHO KNOW THEY ARE WATCHED - SOME BENEFITS AND COSTS OF JAILING FOR NONPAYMENT OF SUPPORT
Journal: MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW  Volume:75  Issue:5 & 6  Dated:(APRIL-MAY 1977)  Pages:900-940
Author(s): D L CHAMBERS
Corporate Author: Michigan Law Review Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 41
Sponsoring Agency: Michigan Law Review Assoc
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE EFFECTS OF THE THREAT AND USE OF JAILING ON THE RATE OF CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENT IN 28 MICHIGAN COUNTIES ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: COUNTY GOVERNMENTS IN MICHIGAN MAINTAIN AN AGENCY THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR RECEIVING ALL CHILD-SUPPORT PAYMENTS FROM PARENTS UNDER ORDERS FOLLOWING A DIVORCE OR ADJUDICATION OF PATERNITY. THOSE WHO FAIL TO MAKE THEIR PAYMENTS ON TIME RUN THE RISK OF BEING ARRESTED BY THE AGENCY'S DEPUTIZED OFFICERS AND SENTENCED TO JAIL FOR CIVIL CONTEMPT. IN 1974, APPROXIMATELY 4,000 MEN WERE SO SENTENCED, WITH SENTENCING RATES VARYING FROM COUNTY TO COUNTY. MULTIPLE REGRESSION ANALYSIS OF 1974 DATA FOR 28 COUNTIES SHOWS THAT THREE MAIN FACTORS ACCOUNT FOR DIFFERENCES IN LEVELS OF COLLECTION: (1) THE ENFORCEMENT PROCESS ITSELF (COUNTIES THAT INITIATE ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS WITHOUT WAITING FOR COMPLAINTS FROM MOTHERS COLLECT MORE); (2) RATE OF JAILING (COUNTIES THAT JAIL MORE NONPAYING MEN RELATIVE TO THE POPULATION COLLECT MORE); AND (3) POPULATION (COUNTIES WITH LARGER POPULATIONS COLLECT LESS). COMPARISONS BETWEEN TWO MICHIGAN COUNTIES WITH DIFFERENT ENFORCEMENT POLICIES AND BETWEEN ONE MICHIGAN COUNTY AND A WISCONSIN COUNTY WITH NO ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM SUGGEST TWO CONCLUSIONS: (1) THAT EVEN A MINIMAL ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM HAS A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON COLLECTIONS; AND (2) THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF A 'SELF-STARTING' ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM, HEAVY USE OF JAILING FOR NONPAYMENT MAKES LITTLE DIFFERENCE IN COLLECTION RATES. JAILING AS AN INSTRUMENT OF COLLECTION APPEARS TO BE FUTILE UNLESS POTENTIAL OFFENDERS BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE LIKELY TO BE JAILED. THIS BELIEF APPARENTLY ARISES NOT FROM THE MERE OCCURRENCE OF JAILING BUT FROM AN EFFECTIVE REMINDER SYSTEM THAT POINTS TOWARD CONFINEMENT. IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS FOR COLLECTION OF CHILD SUPPORT AND FOR EFFORTS TO CONTROL SUCH FORMS OF UNDESIRABLE BEHAVIOR AS RAPE AND ARMED ROBBERY ARE DISCUSSED. THE DISCUSSION TOUCHES ON THE USE OF DEDUCTIONS FROM WAGES AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO JAILING FOR NONPAYMENT OF SUPPORT. TABULAR DATA ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Civil remedies; Deterrence; Effects of imprisonment; Michigan; Studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=44016

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