January 11, 2021 Criminal Justice Matters

Restitution Obligations During a Pandemic and Economic Collapse

J. Vincent Aprile II

The confluence in 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic devastation spawned by that health crisis has raised many challenges for America’s criminal justice system. One of those least-addressed conundrums is the impact of these two intertwined plagues on those criminal defendants sentenced to make restitution payments. Faced with the loss of employment opportunities and the legitimate fear of contracting the virus while working or seeking a job, those with restitution obligations may find themselves confronted with a variant of Sophie’s choice.

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