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

R. Barry Ruback, Jennifer N. Shaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-681
Number of pages25
JournalLaw and human behavior
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law

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