This site provides a brief overview of the restitution collection process as it relates to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for adult offenders.
Guide to Restitution
- General restitution information
- How does a victim get restitution ordered?
- How does a victim collect on the restitution order from an inmate or parolee?
- Unclaimed Restitution
- California Victims Compensation Program (CalVCP)
- Additional information for victims
- Parolee Payment Instructions
- Parolee/Discharged Offender Victim Restitution Collection Program
- Frequently Asked Questions
Types of Restitution
The sentencing court can order the defendant to pay two different types of restitution: (1) restitution to the victim known as a direct order of restitution, and (2) restitution fines.
Direct Order of Restitution
The court can order a defendant to pay restitution to the victim. This type of restitution is referred to as a direct order. California Penal Code states that the court must award restitution to the victim(s) in the full amount of the economic loss, including but not limited to:
- Full or partial payment for the value of stolen or damaged property.
- Medical expenses.
- Mental health counseling expenses.
- Wages or profits lost due to injury incurred by the victim, and if the victim is a minor, wages or profits lost by the minor’s parent(s) or guardian(s) while caring for the injured minor.
- Expenses to install or increase residential security incurred, relating to the crime.
- Actual and reasonable attorney’s fees and other costs of collection accrued by a private entity on behalf of the victim.
- Expenses to retrofit a residence or vehicle, or both, to make the residence accessible or the vehicle operational by the victim, if the victim is permanently disabled whether the disability is partial or total, as a direct result of the crime.
- If the conviction is for a felony violation of Section 288 (child molestation), the court may order restitution for non-economic losses, including, but not limited to psychological harm.
Restitution fines are considered an offender’s debt to society for the offender’s criminal behavior. In the State of California, the court must impose a restitution fine regardless of the crime committed or the sentence imposed. A fine is set at the discretion of the court. The court must order offenders who are sentenced to state prison to pay a fine between $300 (minimum) and $10,000 (maximum).