MADISON, Wis. — Who says crime doesn’t pay?

Hundreds of inmates in Wisconsin’s jails and prisons fraudulently collected unemployment insurance benefits in the last fiscal year, according to data obtained by Wisconsin Reporter through an open records request.

There was, however, a marked decline of jailbirds cashing illegal unemployment checks from the previous year, a sign that initiatives aimed at catching fraud in the state Unemployment Insurance Division are paying off, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.