Deadbeat parents will soon face new punishments

Deadbeat parents will soon face new punishments

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Deadbeat parents will soon be facing a new punishment.

Whitney Everett is a single mom.

"I do it all by myself. I have nobody

She said her two kids' dad left and hasn't paid any type of child support.

"He's pretty much said he'll go to jail. He's not going to pay. He'll go to jail."

Whitney is not the only parent trying to collect back pay.

"I have a very active docket," Oklahoma County District Judge Bernard Jones sees many families in his courtroom. He said under current state law so-called "deadbeat" parents can be sentenced to 180-days in jail.

"Quite frankly when there in jail there really no good to anyone." 

A new bill going into effect November 1st will keep deadbeat parents out of jail and put them back into the community

"If they're going to start neglecting their child support they're going to have to start working on the SHINE crew two days a week," said District Two Oklahoma County Commissioner, Brian Maughan.

Counties throughout the state can choose whether to adopt the program. Oklahoma county is the first to join. Start helping impacted neighborhoods everywhere or shine allows alternative sentencing for low level offenders.

"They go right alongside the road crews, they are assisting in helping graffiti, this will also help clean out bar ditches, hobo huts, prostitution huts," said Maughan.

Starting Friday judges can start sentencing more than 25-thousand parents behind on child support to do community service until they start repaying their debt.

"We could be expecting crews up to 300 a day if we get this fully implemented by the end of the year."

Leaving single parents like Whitney hopeful she could soon collect. 

"It would be awesome if they forced him to do it because then he'd actually have to get some responsibility." 

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