The role of victim-related factors in victim restitution: a multi-method analysis of restitution in Pennsylvania

Law Hum Behav. 2005 Dec;29(6):657-81. doi: 10.1007/s10979-005-7372-x.


Mandatory statutes do not always produce change, but a 1995 Pennsylvania statutory change making restitution mandatory dramatically increased the proportion of cases in which restitution was imposed. There are three possible reasons for this generally successful implementation: (a) judges agreed with the victim-centered goals of the statute, (b) there were mechanisms in place to implement the goals of assisting victims, and (c) there was a context supportive of victims that made it easier to follow the law. Two studies investigated these possible explanations. First, a statewide survey of trial court judges suggested that they agreed with the statute's goals of compensating victims. Second, hierarchical logistic models of 55,119 statewide restitution-eligible decisions indicated that a victim-related contextual factor, the nature and location of the victim/witness assistance office, was significantly related to the imposition of restitution, although a more general contextual factor relating to funding for victim programs had only small effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Crime Victims* / economics
  • Crime Victims* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Crime Victims* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Pennsylvania
  • Social Justice*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires