Citing a March verdict, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals agreed once again the percentage of prison wages the state can withhold from a convicted inmate, affirming a Dane County Circuit Court decision.
Attorneys Jason Luczak and Jorge Fragoso of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown secured their second pro bono Court of Appeals win this year regarding restitution deductions from prison wages and gifted funds. In March, the court sided with Victor Ortiz, Jr., stating that the 2015 Wisconsin Act 355 was not applicable to his case because the sentencing court had stipulated that only 25% could be taken in restitution, instead of the 50% the prison began deducting in April 2016.
Referring to that ruling, the same considerations were granted to Jacquese Harrell, Sr. Harrell was convicted in 2008 and ordered to pay $7,256.40 in restitution, his record containing a 2010 and 2018 amended judgement of conviction stating only 25% may be taken in deductions. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections increased that to 50%. Harrell’s inmate complaint was dismissed by the warden, and the Department Secretary upheld the dismissal.
Judge Peter Anderson of Dane County Circuit Court reversed the Department’s dismissal, causing the Department to appeal. The Court of Appeals reaffirmed Anderson’s decision and Harrell’s original judgement of conviction to allow only 25% of his prison wages and/or gifted funds deducted.