Crime Victims Prioritized for Restitution Under New Legislation
Thursday, June 14, 2018, Anchorage, AK – Victims of crime will once again be prioritized for financial compensation under new legislation signed into law today during a special ceremony at the Alaska Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory. Sponsored by Rep. Chuck Kopp (R-Anchorage), House Bill 216 makes assistance to crime victims the highest priority through the new Restorative Justice Account.
“Restitution for medical expenses, damaged and stolen property is a right under the Alaska Constitution,” said Representative Kopp. “This legislation moves crime victims to the front of the line when funds become available, so they can put their lives back together and begin the recovery process.”
HB 216 creates the Restorative Justice Account as a sub-account within the Permanent Fund for appropriations to entities allowed to receive these funds and establishes a funding priority mechanism with crime victims being the top priority. HB 216 also adds restitution assistance for victims that have exhausted all means of recovery. Offenders are still responsible to pay for restitution orders, fines, and other costs of incarceration.
Another important crime fighting piece of legislation was also signed in to law today. House Bill 312 makes several important changes to the state’s criminal statutes to keep dangerous offenders off the streets.
Provisions of the bill include:
- Grants judges more flexibility to hold offenders in jail while they await trial
- Empowers Alaska’s Attorney General to ban dangerous new drugs by emergency regulation
- Ensures judges can consider out-of-state criminal charges when making pre-trial release decisions
- Protects healthcare workers from an increase in violence in the workplace
Representative Kopp and the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Matt Claman (D-Anchorage), worked together in a bipartisan manner to secure passage of the bill this session.