8 Investigates

Kerri O'Brien recognized for restitution investigation that prompted change in legislation

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -- 8News Investigative Reporter Kerri O'Brien has been recognized for her efforts to get restitution to crime victims. 

Kerri was awarded Friday with a 'Citizen Lawmaker Award,' given to people in the community who present ideas that prompt change in legislation.

Last year, Kerri discovered restitution payments weren't getting delivered to crime victims; more than $1 million was sitting in the clerk's office waiting to be delivered.

Kerri's investigations inspired Delegate Rob Bell and the General Assembly to pass two laws that change how Virginia handles the restitution process.

"The state has now hired two people whose job is to track down crime victims, and get them the money that they have already got collected so they can receive the restitution," Del. Bell explained.

The newly-enacted legislation went into effect July 1.

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