Reasons why an Incarcerated Prisoner should not have to make Restitution to a Victim

List reasons why an incarcerated prisoner should not have to make restitution to a victim. Assume that you are the prisoner’s advocate and must convince a judge of your position.

  1. An incarcerated prisoner should not have to make restitution to a victim because:
  2. It is in good faith not to double punish an offender.
  3. A prisoner is likely to be lacking money.
  4. A prisoner does not have adequate time to look for the required restitution money.
  5. An inmate can neither process nor authorize payments while in jail.
  6. It becomes a burden to start a new life once released.
  7. It jeopardizes the parole’s reentry into the community.

Imprisonment is a complete punishment for law-breaking and thus an indirect compensation for the wrongdoing. Therefore, a prisoner who is serving his term should not be forced to repay a victim since he is under punitive justice, and subjecting him further to restorative justice becomes double punishment. It is critical to acknowledge that most incarcerated prisoners are underprivileged, given that they could not afford bail or compensation money, leading to them being put behind bars. Hence, it is challenging for a prisoner to make restitution to a victim. Nonetheless, even if he can raise funds in whichever way, the inmate lacks the necessary time to avail the demanded amount while serving his sentence. He may be forced to liquidate some assets to raise the required value, which needs adequate time. Besides, nearly all money transactions apart from electronic transfers demand personal presence, and close friends and relatives who could assist in looking for the money are likely to cut ties with the convict. Furthermore, demanding a prisoner to compensate a victim drag him into the debt pit, making him unproductive after release and enhance stigma, impairing reintegration into the society.

 

References

Chapter 5 financial assistance for victims of crime: Section 2, restitution. (n.d). OVC Archive. https://www.ncjrs.gov/ovc_archives/nvaa99/chap5-2.htm

Crime victim compensation: An overview (n.d). The National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards. http://www.nacvcb.org/index.asp?bid=14

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