Tedisco: Wealthy Criminals Should Pay For Their Stay

Assemblyman aptly names legislation “The Madoff Bill”
July 20, 2009
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Saratoga/Schenectady) recently introduced legislation that would require wealthy inmates to pay their own way in prison aptly dubbed “The Madoff Bill.”

“An incident in lower Manhattan’s Tombs prison demonstrates the need for just such legislation. To use a city jail as a frat house for parties hosted by wealthy inmates and their connected friends is completely inappropriate,” said Tedisco. “This legislation holds criminals accountable while providing relief to our beleaguered taxpayers.”

“Far too often taxpayers are stuck with the bill for criminals who have extensive personal wealth waiting for them once they are discharged from our state’s penal system. We need to fix this by requiring wealthy convicted criminals to pony up for some or all of the cost of their incarceration. This is a great way to further deter criminals from committing crimes and prevent the corrupt use of taxpayer funds in our prisons,” said Tedisco.

Tedisco pointed out that convicted criminals like Bernie Madoff, who was sentenced to 150 years in prison at taxpayer expense, should have to pay for their stay in our state and federal prisons. This legislation would require convicted criminals, based on total assets, to pay a percentage of his or her incarceration costs. Under this legislation, an inmate would pay the following percentages based on their total asset bracket which does not include the value of an inmate’s home or any equity found in it:

  • 100% over $200,000;
  • 80% over $160,000 to $200,000;
  • 60% over $120,000 to $160,000;
  • 40% over $80,000 to $120,000;
  • 20% over $40,000 to $80,000; and
  • 0% $40,000 or less.