How does a victim collect on the restitution order from an inmate or a parolee?

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) can only collect restitution from offenders under the jurisdiction of the CDCR. The offender must be incarcerated in one of our thirty-five (35) institutions, or on parole.

Collections from inmates

– Upon the offender’s arrival at the CDCR, an inmate trust account is established to accommodate monetary deposits and/or withdrawals. It is also designed to track any and all obligations that an offender may have, such as restitution fines and direct orders for victim restitution. For those offenders who have both a fine and a direct order, the direct order obligation will be satisfied first, effective January 1, 2007. Any money deposited into the account will be garnished at 50 percent. This money is applied toward the offender’s restitution obligations.

– When a victim contacts the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS), either by completing the CDCR 1707 or by phone, the CDCR verifies whether a court order (required for restitution) is present or not. The court order must state the victim’s name and a specific dollar amount to be paid to that victim.

– It is possible, however, while incarcerated, the inmate does not receive any deposits into his/her account and therefore no restitution collections can be made. Unfortunately, this is outside the control of the CDCR.

– Money collected from the inmate’s trust deposits is transferred to the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) for disbursement to the victim. Disbursements are made in increments of $50 or every six months, whichever is reached first.

– Be patient, the collection process can take a long time. Inmates typically make between $0.38 and $1.00 per hour. There are also more inmates incarcerated than there are paying jobs available. Therefore, some inmates may not have a wage-earning job and are unable to pay restitution, unless the inmate receives money from outside sources, such as family or friends.

Collections from parolees

  • Often victims are told to wait until the inmate is on parole. This is not advisable. By law, the CDCR has the authority to take money from an inmate’s trust deposits and wages.
  • For those inmates wishing to transfer their parole out of state, payment of all restitution must be made in full before their transfer request may be granted.
  • Offenders may make voluntary payments on restitution fines while on parole, however, all victims’ direct orders are immediately referred to FTB upon release from prison.

Guide to Restitution

For Victims…

For Offenders…