Court: Iowa inmate can give more $ to victims, less to state - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Court: Iowa inmate can give more $ to victims, less to state

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IOWA CITY (AP) -

The Iowa Supreme Court says an inmate can give more of his earnings back to his victims at the expense of the state.

The court reinstated a judge's order Friday allowing Beau Morris to apply 50 percent of his income to restitution, up from the traditional 15 percent for inmates with private-sector prison jobs.

Morris petitioned a court in 2012 to increase the percentage of his earnings for restitution after reading about how millions of dollars in court debts go unpaid.

But the Iowa Department of Corrections argued the change was illegal and a judge rescinded it. Increasing restitution payments meant less money would go to the department and the state's general fund.

But justices say lawmakers intended for victims to receive restitution from inmate wages ahead of the state.

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