The Board of Supervisors approved Mayor Michael D. Antonovich’s motion directing county departments to implement collection of victim restitution from AB 109 offenders based on a report received from the District Attorney.
“Through no fault of their own, crime victims are subjected to physical, emotional and financial harm,” said Mayor Antonovich. “Victims have a constitutional right to restitution and we have an obligation to enforce that right on their behalf to ensure that they are not victimized by the system.”
In November 2014, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Mayor Antonovich’s motion directing the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee to establish a taskforce to study the collection of victim restitution and develop a local mechanism for collection. That motion was prompted by the recent change in state law that addressed the shift in collection of victim restitution from the state to the counties as it relates to AB 109 offenders even though AB 109 took effect in October 2011.
Tuesday’s action adopts the following six recommendations and directs the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee to establish a notification process for persons making deposits into inmate trust accounts about victim restitution orders and the potential reduction of the inmate’s account for that purpose:
* Designate the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as the agency authorized to collect victim restitution from inmates housed in County jail, pursuant to a PC 1170(h) sentence;
* Request the Sheriff’s Department to collect the maximum 50 percent allowed from deposits made into an inmate trust account when the inmate has an outstanding restitution order, pursuant to a PC 1170(h) sentence and impose an additional 10 percent of any amounts collected to support collection processes;
* Designate the Probation Department as the agency authorized to collect restitution, including the 10 percent as described in Recommendation No. 2 above, from both the Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS) population and offenders on mandatory supervision following their release from County jail on a PC 1170(h) split sentence;
* Designate the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office as the agency authorized to obtain court ordered fines and restitution on behalf of crime victims and to utilize and expand Prosecutorial Information Management System (PIMS) to initiate a digital record that is subsequently transmitted to the Sheriff’s Department and the Probation Department through the Collections and Accounts Receivables System (CARS) in a centralized County restitution system in order to effect collection from criminal defendants;
* Expand the Treasurer Tax Collector’s role to support collection of restitution from all AB 109 realigned populations utilizing the CARS, or its successor system, as the centralized County restitution system; and,
* Direct the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee and the Restitution Taskforce to report back to the Board in 90 days with the status of the restitution collection plan discussed in the District Attorney’s report, including systems issues and resource needs.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl supported 30 percent and opposed reduction of inmate trust accounts by 50 percent for collection of restitution.