MacEwen bill prioritizing victim compensation unanimously passes House

Rep. Drew MacEwen’s bill to ensure incarcerated criminal offenders pay court-ordered restitution to their victims was unanimously approved by the House Wednesday.

Under House Bill 1058, courts would be prohibited from granting postponement of an offender’s restitution payments — paid by the offender over a specified period of time as payment of a victim’s damages — until after their release from confinement.

“We must ensure restitution is being prioritized and not placed behind other financial obligations an offender may have,” said MacEwen, R-Union. “Our criminal justice system should not require the financial burden already incurred by victims to be adjudicated repeatedly.”

Under the bill, an offender’s inability to make restitution payments while imprisoned would not be a violation of their sentence unless their inability to pay resulted from a refusal to accept, or termination from, employment in a Department of Corrections inmate work program.

House Bill 1058 now advances to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov