The act provides a list of allowable restitution expenses if proximately caused by a crime for which restitution must be paid, which list includes travel expenses to certain court proceedings. The court is required to review the travel expenses to ensure the travel expenses are reasonable. If the court finds the travel expenses are unreasonable, the court may reduce the amount of recoverable travel expenses to a reasonable amount.
The act requires the department of corrections to intercept government windfall payments (payments) before the payments are deposited in an inmate's bank account and send funds to the judicial department (department) in an amount equal to any amount owed by the inmate. The department is required to disburse funds pursuant to the order of crediting payments in criminal proceedings. The department of corrections is required to disperse any remaining funds in accordance with restitution for inmates sentenced to the department of corrections. If any funds remain after the inmate's outstanding obligations are fulfilled, the excess funds must be placed in the inmate's bank account.
The act establishes the office of restitution services (office) in the department. The purpose of the office is to assist victims who are owed court-ordered restitution. The office is required to receive requests from victims requesting semiannual statements detailing restitution payments the defendant has made to the victim and the disbursements the court has made to the victim. The statement must include the outstanding amount of court-ordered restitution owed to the victim. The office is also required to assist with training related to the administration of the restitution system, enhance communications for postsentence restitution, and collaborate with victim advocacy programs.
The act appropriates $129,359 from the judicial collection enhancement fund to the department to establish the office.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)