This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Restitution In Pennsylvania Task Force Calls For Changes To Help Crime Victims, Hold Offenders Accountable

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Restitution in Pennsylvania Task Force today released its report with recommendations to significantly improve state laws and procedures related to the quality of restitution ordering, collection and disbursement to crime victims.

"Restitution is a restorative justice concept that recognizes the harm to individual victims and attempts to repair the damage caused by the crime," Victim Advocate Carol Lavery said. "It is inherently rehabilitative as it holds the offender accountable and provides the opportunity to right a wrong."

Data show that $434 million in restitution was assessed and $50 million was collected statewide over the past three years.  The collection rate is affected by practical factors, including that 33 percent of those assessed are incarcerated, but this report highlights several ways that collection of restitution can be improved.

The 39-member Task Force, chaired by Lavery, was comprised of representatives from all three branches of state government, counties, the criminal and juvenile justice systems, advocacy groups and crime victims.

The members met over a 12-month period to determine how to maximize the reimbursement of financial losses to crime victims. The Task Force's 47 recommendations are grouped into four categories:

  • Uniformity of Practice
  • Strengthening Accountability
  • Coordination of Information
  • Expansion of Authority

Some of the recommendations of the task force include the establishment of restitution funds and restitution programs throughout both the criminal and juvenile justice systems, placing defendants on a single electronic payment plan to ensure that prior, older cases are not neglected in favor of the most current case, and legislation to authorize courts to order wage attachment for defendants who have been found in contempt for nonpayment of restitution, costs or fines.

"The release of this report represents a starting point, not a conclusion.  We have much more work to do together as we promote and implement best practices and seek additional collections enforcement measures as outlined in the report," said Don O'Shell, York County Clerk of Courts and chairman of the collections and disbursement subcommittee of the task force. "The challenges ahead require effort and perseverance.  Regardless of the barriers, our focus must remain on providing justice to victims of crime doing all we can to ensure full and timely restitution."

"Providing restitution to crime victims is a major priority of Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system, and we look forward to continuing this important work to develop an implementation strategy related to the juvenile justice recommendations contained in this report," said James Anderson, Executive Director of the Juvenile Court Judges' Commission and chairman of the juvenile justice subcommittee of the task force.

The complete report is online at www.PA-RestitutionTaskForce.info

Visit the Pennsylvania Office of the Victim Advocate online at www.ova.state.pa.us.

Media contact: Sherry Tate, 717-787-6208 Carol Lavery, 717- 214-2256

Editor's Note: The amount of restitution owed by county based on data provided by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts can be found in Part IV: Appendices of the report.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Victim Advocate

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs