The National Center for Victims of Crime recently released a “Restitution Toolkit,” which provides state agencies and external organizations information on instituting or furthering restitution opportunities for crime victims. The information is in-depth and comprehensive, including:
- Setting the Framework: incorporating restitution in an agency mission statement, issuing a clear directive to courts, and setting benchmarks for restitution;
- Promoting Early Payment: creating the expectation and implementing statutory tools;
- Making Payment Plans Work: gathering solid information, facilitating payment, and motivating defendants;
- Dealing with Default: providing for sanctions and other consequences and;
- Special Circumstances: relating to juvenile offenders and economic crime offenders.
Right on Crime has continuously advocated for stronger policies ensure the restoration of victims after a crime. In the case of property crimes, especially, putting the victim in the same place they were before the crime occurred should be an integral component of the state’s response. This toolkit could provide a good starting point for jurisdictions seeking to enhance the role of restitution.