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State legislatures and criminal justice experts alike have recognized
that holding a convicted offender financially responsible for the harm
caused by the crime is a proper criminal sanction. They also recognize
the importance of restitution in promoting the recovery of the crime victim.
However, until the process of collecting restitution improves, these twin
benefits cannot be fully realized. This process must begin before the
restitution is ordered, with a thorough investigation of the defendants
assets and earning abilities and the courts ability to preserve
those assets when necessary. At the same time, a state must have a system
in place to monitor compliance with restitution orders and the means to
enforce the orders. With increased focus on all aspects of collection,
states have the potential to make restitution orders far more meaningful.
|Restitution: Making It Work, Legal Series Bulletin #5
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