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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: April 20, 2015 12:36 PM
From: Representative Todd Stephens
To: All House members
Subject: Requiring Criminals to Pay Restitution to Crime Victims

I will be re-introducing HB 2386 (passed the House Judiciary Committee 25-0) to increase the amount of restitution crime victims receive from the criminals that financially affected them. In 2011, The Restitution in Pennsylvania Task Force convened to study and develop recommendations for improving the restitution process in Pennsylvania. The Task Force brought together key stakeholders, agencies and organizations from across all stages of victim restitution work to conduct a thorough review of restitution process, identify gaps and develop recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of the criminal system in collecting restitution for victims. In February 2013, the Task Force issued its final report including 47 recommendations for reforms.

This bill will establish a mandated minimum percentage for deductions from deposits made to inmate personal accounts in county and state correctional facilities. Current law authorizes, but does not require, prison officials to deduct money from inmate accounts to satisfy a prisoners’ court-ordered restitution. As a consequence, county and state prison inmates spend money from their inmate accounts at the prison commissary on such luxuries as televisions and snack food, while ignoring their obligation to compensate their victims. (Task Force Recommendations #9 and #37.)

It’s time we ensured victims were made whole for the crimes committed against them. Please join me by cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1089