2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 302. Prisons; state, county and municipal.
302.372 Prisoner reimbursement to a county.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 302.372 (2017)

302.372 Prisoner reimbursement to a county.

(1)Definitions. In this section:

(a) “Jail" includes a house of correction, Huber facility under s. 303.09 or a work camp under s. 303.10.

(b) “Jailer" includes a sheriff, superintendent or other keeper of a jail.

(2)Reimbursement of expenses; county option.

(a) Except as provided in pars. (c) and (d), a county may seek reimbursement for any expenses incurred by the county in relation to the crime for which a person was sentenced to a county jail, or for which the person was placed on probation and confined in jail, as follows:

1. From each person who is or was a prisoner, not more than the actual per-day cost of maintaining that prisoner, as set by the county board by ordinance, for the entire period of time that the person is or was confined in the jail, including any period of pretrial detention.

2. To investigate the financial status of the person.

3. Any other expenses incurred by the county in order to collect payments under this section.

(b) Before seeking any reimbursement under this section, the county shall provide a form to be used for determining the financial status of prisoners. The form shall provide for obtaining the social security number of the prisoner, the age and marital status of a prisoner, the number and ages of children of a prisoner, the number and ages of other dependents of a prisoner, the income of a prisoner, type and value of real estate owned by a prisoner, type and value of personal property owned by a prisoner, the prisoner's cash and financial institution accounts, type and value of the prisoner's investments, pensions and annuities and any other personalty of significant cash value owned by a prisoner. The county shall use the form whenever investigating the financial status of prisoners. The information on a completed form is confidential and not open to public inspection or copying under s. 19.35 (1), except that the county shall provide the name and address of an individual, the name and address of the individual's employer and financial information related to the individual from a form completed under this paragraph in response to a request for information under s. 49.22 (2m) made by the department of children and families or a county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5).

(c) This section applies to expenses incurred on or after May 9, 1996.

(d) The jailer or the county shall choose, for each prisoner, whether to seek reimbursement under this section or as otherwise provided in chs. 301 to 303, but may not collect for the same expenses twice. The jailer or the county may choose to seek reimbursement for the expenses under sub. (2) (a) using the method under sub. (5), using the method under sub. (6), or certifying the expenses as a debt pursuant to s. 71.935 (2) under sub. (7), or a combination of methods, but may not seek reimbursement for the same expenses twice.

(3)List of prisoners; information; reports. Upon request of the district attorney or the corporation counsel for the county, the jailer shall provide the district attorney or corporation counsel with a list containing the name of each sentenced prisoner or prisoner confined as a condition of probation, the term of sentence or confinement, and the date of admission, together with information regarding the financial status of each prisoner to enable the county to obtain reimbursement under this section.

(4)Prisoner cooperation. A prisoner in a jail shall cooperate with the county in seeking reimbursement under this section for expenses incurred by the county for that prisoner. A prisoner who intentionally refuses to cooperate under this subsection may not earn good time credit under s. 302.43 or diminution of sentence under s. 303.19 (3). If the prisoner is confined as a condition of probation, refusal to cooperate is a ground for revocation of probation.

(5)Charge to obtain reimbursement. The jailer may charge a prisoner for the expenses under sub. (2) (a) while he or she is a prisoner. If the jailer maintains an institutional account for a prisoner's use for payment for items from canteen, vending or similar services, the jailer may make deductions from the account to pay for the expenses under sub. (2) (a). Any money collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the county treasury.

(6)Action to obtain reimbursement.

(a) Except as provided in par. (am) or sub. (7), within 12 months after the release of a prisoner from jail, the county where the jail is located shall commence a civil action in circuit court to obtain a judgment for the expenses under sub. (2) (a) or be barred. The jailer shall provide any assistance that the county requests related to an action under this subsection.

(am) Except as provided in sub. (7), within 24 months after the release of a prisoner from jail, the county where the jail is located shall commence a civil action in circuit court to obtain a judgment for the medical expenses associated with the prisoner under sub. (2) (a) or be barred. The jailer shall provide any assistance that the county requests related to an action under this subsection.

(b) An action commenced under this subsection shall be commenced in the county where the jail is located or in the county where the defendant resides.

(c) The complaint in an action commenced under this subsection shall include the date and place of the sentence, the length of time of the sentence, the length of time actually served in the jail and the amount of expenses incurred by the county under sub. (2) (a).

(d) Before entering a judgment for the county, the court shall consider any legal obligations of the defendant for support or maintenance under ch. 767 and any moral obligation of the defendant to support dependents and may reduce the amount of the judgment entered for the county based on those obligations.

(e) Any money obtained as the result of an action commenced under this subsection shall be deposited in the county treasury.

(7)Debt certification to obtain reimbursement.

(a) Except as provided in par. (b), the county where the jail is located may obtain reimbursement by proceeding under s. 71.935 and certifying as a debt pursuant to s. 71.935 (2), within 12 months after the release of a prisoner from jail, the amount of expenses incurred by the county under sub. (2) (a). Any money obtained as the result of an action commenced under this subsection shall be deposited in the county treasury.

(b) The county where the jail is located may obtain reimbursement by proceeding under s. 71.935 and certifying as a debt pursuant to s. 71.935 (2), within 24 months after the release of a prisoner from jail, the amount of medical expenses associated with the prisoner and incurred by the county under sub. (2) (a). Any money obtained as the result of an action commenced under this subsection shall be deposited in the county treasury.

History: 1995 a. 281; 1997 a. 191; 1999 a. 32; 2007 a. 20; 2013 a. 315.

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