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sdelozie@pahousegop.com
House Advances Delozier Bill to Enhance Restitution for Crime Victims
9/18/2014
HARRISBURG – The House of Representatives yesterday advanced legislation, authored by state Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) to help minimize the economic harm to crime victims. The bill was part of a five-piece legislative package to improve the restitution process in Pennsylvania on both the state and local levels.
 
House Bill 2385 requires that, once the defendant is found guilty, any money posted as bail can be applied to the payment of any outstanding restitution, fees, fines or costs owed by the defendant in any criminal or delinquency case at the judge’s discretion.
 
“Being a victim of any crime is very traumatizing, but enduring additional stress to resolve serious problems resulting from that crime can be totally devastating,” Delozier said. “My legislation ensures any bail posted by the defendant found guilty goes toward restitution costs first, putting victims of crime ahead of the criminals.”
Delozier’s bill is part of a five-bill package developed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in response to recommendations made by the Restitution in Pennsylvania Task Force.
 
In 2011, the Office of Victim Advocate convened the Restitution in Pennsylvania Task Force to study and develop recommendations for improving the restitution process in Pennsylvania on both the state and local levels. The task force conducted a thorough review of restitution processes at the state and local level in order to identify gaps and develop recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of both the criminal and juvenile systems in collecting restitution for victims.
 
“Stronger laws are needed to ensure offenders fulfill their financial obligation to the victims of their crimes,” said Delozier. “Through restitution, criminals will not only provide relief due to their victims but also deal with the financial consequences of their wrongful acts. Currently, the frustration is that a person who is found guilty of committing a crime has the funds to assure his or her freedom on bail, but refuses to pay what is owed the victim or court.”
 
The remaining bills in the legislative package aim to enhance the collection of restitution by establishing a minimum threshold for deductions from inmate personal accounts, making wage attachment a higher priority than it currently is in law, intercepting outstanding restitution from any state income tax refunds and enhancing county collection efforts.
 
House Bill 2385 now moves to the Senate for consideration. 
 
Representative Sheryl Delozier
88th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Abbey Haslam
717.260.6222
ahaslam@pahousegop.com
RepDelozier.com / Facebook.com/RepDelozier
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