RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After an 8News investigation uncovered the State is holding onto crime victims money because the courts claim they can’t find the victims, a lawmaker is pushing to put someone in charge of finding those victims.
Court Clerks told us they don’t have the time or the resources to track down crime victims, even when the bad guys make good and pay their court-ordered restitution.
By law, all the Court Clerks have to do is send a letter via snail mail to the last known address of the victims.8News exposed more than a million dollars not getting to crime victims across the State.
Last week, we shared our findings with Delegate Rob Bell, and ever since he has been working on legislation to improve how unclaimed restitution is reported and disbursed.
“I am working on a bill that would say you have to keep track of it, you have to send it to the Crime Injuries Compensation Fund and you have to have a person whose whole job is to look for the people that we owe the money to, so that person can get the money they deserve,” says Bell.
Bell believes the position could be created within the Virginia Victims Fund, formerly known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.