Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Myth: Offenders in prison can’t work, therefore they have no way of making payments toward restitution.

Most offenders do work while they are in prison. The state Department of Corrections deducts 20% of all incoming money to be applied towards court costs, fines, and restitution and sends it to the county on a monthly basis. This includes not only deductions from wages, but also from gifts of money from friends and fam ily. The authority comes from Title 42 Pa.C.S. § 9728(b)(5) which states that “the county correctional facility to which the offender has been sentenced or the Department of Corrections shall be authorized to make monetary deductions from inmate personal accounts for the purpose of collecting restitution or any other court-ordered obligation.”  Last year the Department sent
$3,800,160.50 back to the counties.  If someone is not receiving regular payments from an offender who is in state prison, please feel free to call the Office of the Victim Advocate, Department of Corrections at 1-800-322-4472 for assistance.