Effectiveness of monetary restitution as a sanction: Source of defendant's payments

Paula Marie Calby, Fordham University


This study examines the relationship between family support and paying court-ordered restitution in full. Legal and individual variables were also examined to predict compliance with the court order. Findings suggest that amount of restitution ordered, type of disposition, ethnicity, and living with a spouse/partner are significantly related to paying the restitution order in full. Specifically, those who are more likely to pay the restitution include: (1) offenders who are ordered to pay lower amounts of restitution; (2) offenders who are granted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal rather than a conditional discharge; and (3) offenders who live with a partner. Offenders in the study who were Black or Hispanic were found to be less likely to pay the restitution order in full. A follow-up interview was conducted with respondents who participated in the initial interview and who paid in full. Findings suggest that age, being supported by family members, earnings, and marital status are all associated with having a relative pay the restitution order. Families were affected by the additional financial burden in varying degrees; some families were unaffected while others strained to make ends meet. The findings of the study have policy implications for criminal justice practitioners and for those who are designing restitution programs.

Subject Area

Criminology|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Calby, Paula Marie, "Effectiveness of monetary restitution as a sanction: Source of defendant's payments" (1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9806945.