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RESTITUTION - A JUST COMPENSATION

NCJ Number
69135
Journal
Children's Legal Rights Journal Volume: 1 Issue: 3 Dated: (NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1979) Pages: 4-7
Date Published
1979
Annotation
TO ILLUSTRATE THE RESTITUTION CONCEPT, A HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION INVOLVING A JUVENILE OFFENDER IS EXAMINED.
Abstract
IN THIS HYPOTHETICAL CASE, A 16-YEAR-OLD YOUTH NAMED ROY IS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY BY LOCAL POLICE FOR ALLEGEDLY BREAKING WINDOWS AT AN ABANDONED BUILDING IN HIS COMMUNITY. THE YOUTH HAS NO PREVIOUS COURT RECORD; HIS CASE IS FORWARDED TO A YOUTH SERVICES INTAKE WORKER FOR INVESTIGATION AND RECOMMENDATION OF AN APPROPRIATE DISPOSITION. IN A JURISDICTION WITHOUT A RESTITUTION PROGRAM, DISPOSITIONAL ALTERNATIVES ARE LIMITED. THE YOUTH COULD BE PLACED ON PROBATION, OR IF COURT INTERVENTION IS FOUND TO BE NECESSARY AND ROY IS ADJUDICATED DELINQUENT, HE MAY BE PLACED IN A RESIDENTIAL FACILITY FOR REHABILITATION. HAD THE STATE IN WHICH THE CRIME OCCURRED ADOPTED THE RESTITUTION CONCEPT AND INSTITUTED A WORK PROGRAM, THE HANDLING OF ROY'S CASE WOULD BE DIFFERENT. THE INEQUITY WHICH RESULTS IN CRIMES INVOLVING PECUNIARY LOSS TO THE VICTIM OR COMMUNITY TO BENEFIT FROM THE ADOLESCENT'S SERVICES. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE PROGRAM MAKES THE JUVENILE OFFENDER FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS ACTIONS BY REQUIRING HIM TO WORK OFF HIS DEBT, MAKING HIM VERY MUCH AWARE OF THE AMOUNT OF TIME AND ENERGY HE HAD TO EXPEND TO EARN THE MONEY NECESSARY TO FULFILL HIS FINANCIAL OBLIGATION. LEGAL ISSUES WHICH SHOULD BE ADDRESSED BY ADMINISTRATORS OF RESTITUTION PROGRAMS ARE EXAMINED. THEY INCLUDE EQUAL PROTECTION ISSUES, DUE PROCESS ISSUES, INFORMAL CONSENT, LABOR-RELATED ISSUES, AND LIABILITY INSURANCE ISSUES.