The California Department of Corrections will turn over $1,733,728.32 to the State Board of Control for its Crime Victim Compensation Fund this Friday. The money will be used to cover medical costs, mental health treatment, and emergency expenses of California crime victims.
“This represents just four months of collections from state prison inmate wages and trust account deposits,” said CDC Director James H. Gomez. “At this rate, we will be able to generate more than $5.5 million for crime victims in 1996 alone.”
“It is especially fitting as we commemorate Victims’ Rights Week,” said Gomez.
The presentation will be held at noon, April 26, during Corrections’ Victims’ Rights Fair in the atrium of CDC’s headquarters building, 1515 S Street. Director Gomez will present the $1.7 million check to Frank Zolin, Executive Officer, State Board of Control. The fair will include displays from 15 organizations serving California’s crime victims.
Collections skyrocketed in December 1995 after a new law allowed the department to collect a portion of all trust account deposits for inmates with court-ordered restitution fines. Before then, Corrections could collect from these inmates’ wages only.
“Now we need to encourage district attorneys, chief probation officers, and judges to require restitution for all convicted felons,” said Gomez.
Currently only about half of the inmates in state prisons have been ordered to pay restitution. “We want to make that 100 percent,” said Gomez.
“In my judgment, every single inmate should be required to pay restitution,” Gomez continued. “We have the laws, the means, and the will to make it happen.”