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Predictors and Outcomes of Victim Restitution Orders

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 16 Issue: 4 Dated: December 1999 Pages: 847-869
Maureen C. Outlaw; R. Barry Ruback
Finn-Aage Esbensen
Date Published
23 pages

Adult probation cases in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in which restitution was or could have been a condition of probation were examined to explore factors related to the imposition of victim restitution, the payment of victim restitution, and the effects of restitution on future arrests.


The study also examined the extent to which the effectiveness of restitution was conditioned by community integration and determined whether the effects of restitution payment were unique. Data were obtained from 1994 adult probation records, and information on all relevant measures was coded directly from sampled case files. Results indicated that judges ordered restitution most often when damages were easy to quantify, and that offenders were most likely to make payment when they were able to pay and when the victim was a business. Restitution payment was negatively related to re-arrest, and this effect was especially strong among married persons. Implications of the findings for future research, theory, and policy are considered. 30 references, 2 footnotes, and 8 tables