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National

Obama order eases prisoners' child support burdens

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Opening sequence

National

Obama order eases prisoners' child support burdens

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00:00:01
>> Advocates for criminal justice reform applauding the Obama administration, the administration on Friday announcing a plan to make it easier for prisoners to meet child support payments once they go to prison. Reuters correspondent Ayesha Roscoe covers the White House.>> Child support actually plays a large role in putting poor men of color in touch or in contact with the criminal justice system either through them going to jail for other reasons and then coming out of jail with a huge amount of debt that they can't get out of.
00:00:33
Or they owe so much money that they end up going to jail for non-payment of child support.>> Court ordered child support payments, if unpaid, are one of the only kinds of debt that can still land Americans in prison. In 2015, a police officer in South Carolina pulled over 50-year-old Walter Scott.
00:00:53
Scott subsequently ran from the cops. Some believe Scott fled out of fear he'd be jailed for unpaid child support. He was shot dead by Officer Michael Slager as he ran. Americans sentenced to prison have, until now, sometimes faced mounting child support payments. Obama is seeking to change that.
00:01:10
>> It would force all states to allow people who are in jail to modify their child support orders. Because obviously, if you're in prison, you're probably not making much money. And so if you go in and you're still on the hook for a couple hundred dollars a month, you can come out with interest, owing thousands.
00:01:31
>> Obama has made it a priority to address an infrastructure that makes it difficult for released inmates to re-enter society. The president has granted a total of 774 commutations during his presidency, more than the past 11 presidents combined.