Monetary Remedies for Victims During Illinois Criminal Cases
Parness, Jeffrey A.
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The Illinois Crime Victim's Rights Amendment, added to the Illinois Constitution by the legislature and the voters in 1992, includes a 'right to restitution'. The amendment spurred some new legislation, now within the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act. But most crime victims still have little chance for restitution or other monetary remedies during criminal cases. Other remedies include recoveries from a state fund guided by the Crime Victims Compensation Act and recoveries ordered at sentencing under the Unified Code of Corrections Act. The paper first examines the Illinois constitutional right to restitution and the three separate acts recognizing possible monetary remedies for crime victims during criminal cases. Upon concluding that the constitutional right to restitution has not been adequately implemented by the legislature or the courts, the paper looks to other American state approaches to crime victim recoveries. For Illinois it proposes that the three acts be combined into a single statutory scheme, organized by the stages in a criminal case. Integrated provisions would held better secure the goal of enhanced recoveries by crime victims established by the overwhelming majorities of constitutional amendment drafters and voters.