NORWALK - A Norwalk ex-convict is speaking out against a policy allowing the state to seize money to pay back the cost of incarceration.

Larry Johnson served 15 years in a state prison after being convicted on drug and weapons charges.

When he was released in 2003, he thought his debt to society was paid, until he got a series of bills totaling $182,000. Johnson got the bill right after he received a $40,000 insurance settlement from a car accident.

Johnson says that if you can't be tried twice for the same crime, you shouldn't be made to “pay” twice for the same crime.

State officials say that when ex-cons receive windfalls of any kind, through channels like lawsuit settlements, lottery winnings or book deals, the state can automatically seize the money to recover the cost of incarceration under the state's Capital Recovery program.