Prisoners receiving food stampsMarch 10, 1997
Web posted at: 11:47 p.m. EST (0447 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A new report from the Government Accounting Office shows that more than 12,000 prison inmates in New York, Florida, Texas and Los Angeles County continued to be sent food stamps after they were incarcerated. The stamps were sent to the prisoners' home addresses.
The study found that $3.5 million in food stamps were sent to the prison inmates in 1995 alone. It criticizes local and state agencies for letting prisoners slip through the system by failing to verify information on household membership provided by the food stamp applicants.
Food stamp recipients are required to notify the appropriate agency when a member of the household is sentenced to prison. The food stamp allotment for the home then is lowered proportionately.
House members plan to introduce legislation Wednesday to require states to check prison inmate rolls against food stamp lists, and provide a disincentive for states which fail to do so. Senator Dick Lugar, chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, introduced similar legislation in the Senate last week.
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