Four Lessons from Hawai'i to Ensure Financial Justice for Crime Victims
For many crime victims, restitution is the primary pathway to mitigate the financial impact of a crime; however, the restitution process is often inefficient and fraught with institutional barriers. One state—Hawai'i—decided to tackle these issues head on and ultimately increased the number of people convicted of a crime who pay restitution and the frequency and amount of restitution disbursed to crime victims. How did Hawai'i do it? By taking four key actions that any state can pursue: (1) fostering an institutional culture where restitution is a priority for agency leaders and staff; (2) increasing coordination and collaboration across agencies to collect, track, and disburse restitution effectively; (3) collecting, analyzing, and sharing restitution data; and (4) assessing and improving statutory and administrative restitution policies and practices.