New Center Offers Free Assistance to Improve Victim Restitution Processes

January 26, 2021

A new resource center from The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) offers free assistance to states as they seek to improve the quality of their victim restitution systems.

When a crime is committed, the victim of the crime pays a price—whether physically, emotionally, financially, or a combination of these. Restitution—the repayment of the financial losses by the person convicted of the crime—can be a crucial resource for victims.

However, while restitution is a widely supported practice among criminal justice and victims’ rights practitioners and policymakers, there is no guarantee that it will be collected. States and local jurisdictions often don’t know who owes restitution, how much people owe, to whom restitution is owed, and how it is collected and disbursed.

The Restitution Resource Center will help states improve their ability to effectively order, collect, disburse, and fulfill restitution sentences. The center, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, will facilitate peer networks and information exchange as well as provide a central hub for best practices and successful innovations in the field.

States and local communities can contact the Restitution Resource Center for help with restitution improvement. The CSG Justice Center’s partnership with NCVLI also provides the ability to offer assistance related to restitution case law, legal practices, and victim rights, which will help jurisdictions improve their practices and ensure that victims are not left behind.

Photo by bialasiewicz on Envato Elements.

About the Authors


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Shundrea Trotty
Project Manager, State Initiatives
Shundrea Trotty leads technical assistance efforts to states improving the systemic response to victims. She works alongside state leaders to enhance crime victim compensation programs, restitution practices, and victim assistance funding processes. Before joining the CSG Justice Center, she was
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director of Iowa Services and Projects with Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Having worked in direct service for over 20 years, she has led culturally specific programs serving communities of color and focusing on reentry, reunification, job readiness, and employment. Shundrea started her career in grassroots community organizing and holds a BBA from William Penn University, an MPA with a nonprofit emphasis from Drake University, and is completing a doctorate of education in leadership at Drake University.
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    Sheridan Watson
    Public Affairs Manager, Communications and External Affairs
    Sheridan Watson develops media relations, public affairs, and digital strategies to advance organization-wide initiatives. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, she served for more than 10 years as a spokeswoman and communications advisor for three members of Congress. Previously,
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    she managed a portfolio of policy issues for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and served in communications roles at the Archdiocese of Washington and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Sheridan earned her ABJ in public relations from the University of Georgia and her MA in legislative affairs from The George Washington University.
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