California News

Apr 27, 2013 3:09 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Realignment law jeopardizes victim compensation

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A 2011 California law that sends thousands of lower-level felons to do their time in county jail instead of state prison is making it much harder for crime victims to collect restitution from their offenders.

So-called prison realignment was intended to reduce overcrowding at the state's 33 prisons.

But housing offenders in local jails has created problems for some victims, who relied on the state prison system to collect court-ordered restitution from inmates.

Counties only recently got the legal authority to do similar collections at the jail level and most counties are still sorting out who will collect the money from inmates - and how it will be done.

In the meantime, many victims are not receiving restitution.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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