CHICAGO (CBS) — Two state lawmakers have introduced legislation to halt the practice of going after former prison inmates for the cost of their incarceration.

The state of Illinois can and has sued former inmates and parolees who have resources for the cost of their room and board while incarcerated.

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State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) said that’s morally wrong, impractical, and just backwards.

“We know now, painfully well, how difficult it can be for people coming out of the criminal justice system to find employment, to find housing, to become integrated into society; and the difference between having a $15,000 inheritance and not can be the difference between being housed and not,” he said.

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Biss and Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) have sponsored two companion proposals in the Senate and House that would repeal provisions in state law allowing the state to investigate the assets of inmates and file lawsuits to attempt to recover some of those proceeds to cover the cost of their incarceration.

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The state has recovered about $500,000 from former inmates since 2010, but mostly from just two people.