MacEwen bill prioritizing crime victim compensation signed into law

A bill sponsored by Rep. Drew MacEwen to ensure incarcerated criminal offenders pay court-ordered restitution to their victims in a timely manner was signed into law Wednesday.

Restitution is a sum ordered by a sentencing court to be paid by a criminal offender over a specified period of time as payment of a victim's damages — injury to property, expenses incurred for the treatment of injuries, lost wages, and any counseling required as a result of the offense.

Under House Bill 1058, courts will be prohibited from granting postponement of an offender's restitution payments until after their release from confinement.

“With this bill, we are making sure crime victims, many of whom have suffered significant financial losses, will at least have some money coming their way to help with the purchase of basic necessities,” said MacEwen, R-Union. “Never again will restitution be prioritized behind other financial obligations a criminal offender may have. Victims' needs should come first in our criminal justice system.”

Bills go into effect 90 days after the adjournment of the regular legislative session. The 2018 legislative session adjourned March 8.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov