The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) currently collects $400,000 on average, per month for victims who have been named in court orders as being entitled to restitution paid by the offender who committed the crime. Often, the information sent to CDCR by the county courts does not include victim address information to let CDCR know where to send the money collected. However, state law provides that victims can come forward at any time to claim restitution collected on their behalf.
There must be a court order. The CDCR can only collect victim restitution when the offender has been convicted, sentenced to state prison, and the court has ordered the offender to pay a specific amount to a specific named victim. This is usually called a direct order or a victim restitution order. It is intended to cover economic losses suffered by the victim. The court order must specify a dollar amount. CDCR cannot collect on orders where the dollar amount shows “Reserved”, "To Be Determined" or "TBD."
CDCR receives victim address information in less than 50% of felony cases when victim restitution is ordered and the offender is sentenced to state prison. Consequently, CDCR will collect on the restitution order but cannot distribute the money collected until the victim's address is found. If the court ordered restitution to be paid to you, call us, toll-free, at 1-877-256-6877 to make sure we know where to send the money that we collect for you.
CDCR collects on all victim direct orders once felony offenders are received into prison. CDCR deducts one half of prison wages paid to the offender and one half of any money received from the outside and deposited into an offender's account to apply toward the restitution owed by the offender. When the offender leaves prison, the outstanding victim restitution will be referred to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) for collection. The FTB will continue collecting until the victim restitution is paid in full or the offender dies. CDCR continues to manage the offender accounts even after they are referred to FTB. If the victim's address is still unknown, the money goes to the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) to be held until CDCR notifies them that the victim has been found.