Harrisburg, July 1, 2013 – State Sen. Lisa Boscola has introduced three bills aimed at helping crime victims collect restitution.

“Pennsylvania’s current restitution system leaves too many opportunities for perpetrators to evade paying restitution to those they victimized,” Boscola said. “My legislation would close many of these loopholes.”

The Northampton County lawmaker said two of her bills were recommended in a recent 294-page report issued by the Restitution in Pennsylvania Task Force.  The task force was convened by the State Office of Victim Advocate.

Boscola’s bills would:

  • authorize that court-ordered restitution be satisfied from payments to winners of Pennsylvania Lottery prizes (Senate Bill 1016). Boscola called it an outrage for gamblers to reap state lottery winnings when they have not satisfied their debt to those they victimized;
  • authorize court-ordered restitution from individual state income tax refunds (Senate Bill 1107). Boscola said the state has the technological capability to cross check those who are due tax refunds with those who owe restitution; and
  • mandate that both county and state prisons deduct restitution from an inmate’s personal account (Senate Bill 1029). Boscola said an inmate’s debt to their victim should take precedence over their personal prison spending stash.  Current law allows correctional institutions to deduct restitution payments from inmates’ accounts.  Boscola’s bill would mandate those deductions.

“This legislation is about fairness,” Boscola said. “It’s about putting crime victims ahead of the financial interests of those who victimized them.”

 

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