Should crime pay?: A critical assessment of the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996


Author(s)Dickman, Matthew
Title Should crime pay?: A critical assessment of the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996
Source California Law Review, Dec 2009, Vol. 97 Issue 6, p1687-1718
Date 2009
Document type Journal article
Coverage USA
Summary

This article examines the victims' rights movement in the United States and the subsequent recommendations for reform.   One of those recommendations involved the right of victims to receive restitution from the perpetrator of the crime.   As a result, the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA) of 1996 significantly enhanced the authority of the courts to order restitution to victims of crime. The researcher contends that in the decade since the MVRA was implemented, low collection rates have impeded the goal of enhancing victim compensation and negatively impacted on victim satisfaction. Mandatory restitution was also seen as an impediment to rehabilitation and it increases recidivism rates. The author suggests that future restitution policy should examine the potential of integrating restorative justice practices.

Keywords Compensation; restitution; victim satisfaction; recidivism; rehabilitation; restorative justice. 
Topic Restitution; compensation