Restitution

Crime Victim Restitution Pamphlet

Restitution is the offender’s debt to you, the victim, for losses resulting from the crime. Montana law (46-18-241, MCA) entitles you to full restitution for these expenses:

  • Medical and dental bills
  • Mental health counseling
  • Stolen or damaged property
  • Lost wages
  • Travel and relocation costs
  • Future expenses related to the crime
  • Funeral costs for homicide victims

Determining the actual amount of your loss will be easier if you keep copies of bills and receipts, and a list of all expenses related to the crime.

Give copies of these records to the county attorney in charge of your case or a county victim advocate, who may ask you to fill out forms. Complete and return these forms as soon as possible, and be sure to make copies for yourself.

If a judge ordered restitution in your case, please submit the below forms to the DOC Collections Unit. If you are not sure whether the court awarded you restitution, call your County Attorney. For a list of county attorneys in Montana, please visit Montana County Attorneys Association

Offenders work out payment schedules with their supervising officers. Payments go to the Department of Corrections (DOC) Collections Unit, which sends the money to victims either quarterly or when there is at least $25 to send.

Review restitution statistics

Restitution Realities

  • Victims seldom receive restitution soon after the offender is sentenced unless that offender has financial resources such as bank accounts or property that can be sold.
  • Restitution collection is often a slow process. It might be years before your first restitution check arrives.
  • Many offenders never pay the total amount of court-ordered restitution.
  • Prison jobs are scarce and do not pay much, so inmates may not have money for restitution.
  • Offenders on community supervision (prerelease, probation and parole) typically have low-paying jobs, so restitution amounts may be small.
  • Offenders must pay their monthly living expenses and any court-ordered child support before they make a restitution payment.
  • In crimes involving more than one victim, restitution payments are divided among them. If the offender committed more than one crime, victims receive restitution in the order that the crimes occurred.
  • Offenders are seldom sent to prison for not paying restitution and they cannot be forced to pay more than they are able.
  • Once an offender’s sentence expires, restitution collection is more difficult.

For more information on offender’s obligation to pay restitution and supervision fees, please visit Montana Probation and Parole Services.

Contact the DOC Collections Unit at (800) 801-3478 to check on the status of your restitution. You must notify the Collections Unit if your address changes. The unit has a large amount of restitution that is undeliverable because victims have not reported their current addresses.