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Current Issues

Lack of Data

Data are generally lacking on the amount of restitution ordered and collected. In the few states that have data on the gross amount of restitution collected, insufficient information is available on the percentage of restitution collected. Until the information is available, states will continue to be hampered in their efforts to improve restitution collection.

Victim Enforcement of Restitution Orders Converted to Civil Judgments

As noted, most states provide for unpaid restitution orders to be converted to and enforced as civil judgments. However, few crime victims understand the means available to enforce such judgments. The California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, formerly the California State Board of Control, has attempted to address the problem by developing a simple brochure for crime victims. The brochure describes procedures for converting a restitution order to a civil judgment and investigating the assets of the defendant.47

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Restitution: Making It Work, Legal Series Bulletin #5
November 2002
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