9 Years in Prison for Child Support?!

South Bend, IN–Nine years in prison for failing to pay child support? Nine years? Plus 15 more on probation. Seems very harsh, even if the guy really was guilty which, when dealing with the child support system, is often questionable. Maybe Charles Gillam (pictured) really was an irresponsible creep who earned a good income but chose to let his babies starve. I suspect, however, that he may instead have been just one more low-income minority father who got caught up in the abusive child support system. Probably it was some combination of both.
The story is below. To learn more about the child support system and its abuses, click here. A question–this is the longest prison term I remember for child support–does anybody know of a case with a longer one? Man $120,000 behind in child support gets 9-year sentence in South Bend By Tiffany Griffin South Bend Tribune, 3/7/08 SOUTH BEND — A 34-year-old South Bend man was sentenced to serve nine years in prison for not paying child support. Charles Gillam also was ordered by a St. Joseph Circuit Court magistrate to be placed on probation for 15 years upon his release from prison. He was more than $120,000 in arrears as of Jan. 31, according to a news release from the St. Joseph County prosecutor”s office. Gillam pleaded guilty in 2007 to three counts of non-support of a dependent child, a Class C felony.

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