Handcuff outlining the word Crime Murphy, Campbell, Alliston & Quinn

Recognizing the Victim in Criminal Restitution

Although the right to restitution is prescribed by law under the California Constitution and codified in the United States Code, all crime victims who would be entitled to obtain restitution are not automatically identified and awarded restitution orders. In practice, all potential victims may not be known to the prosecution and the court at the time of sentencing. Some crimes may also be misperceived as victimless crimes particularly where the victim is not a person but an entity. For instance, where the defendant is prosecuted for the crime of manufacturing and selling drugs, the court at the time of sentencing may not know of any victims arising from the criminal activity. However, if the offender operated the drug grow site by diverting resources such as water or electricity, both under state and federal law the utility entity may be considered a victim and may be entitled to restitution for the losses sustained and arising from the operation. The California Constitution broadly states that all crime victims who suffer losses as a result of criminal activity have a right to receive restitution. (Cal. Const., art. I, § 28(b).) Restitution is also available in federal court pursuant to section 3663A(a)(1) of title 18 of the United States Code, requiring that the defendant make restitution to the victims.…

Photo of employment application Murphy, Campbell, Alliston & Quinn

Ban the Box – Is Statewide Regulation of Private Employers Next?

New Law in California Expands “Ban the Box” Movement to all State and Local Agencies – Is Statewide Regulation of Private Employers Next? For employers looking for qualified job applicants, the prospective employee’s past history is in many respects the best predictor of how they will perform.  As employers, we want to know whether the applicant’s history evidences good work ethic, job dedication, and experience that is transferable to the position.  In many industries, the applicant’s criminal history is also an important part of assessing an applicant’s fitness for a particular position.  But a movement is sweeping the country that is changing the landscape for how public and private employers screen job applicants. The movement is generally known as “Ban the Box”.  It was conceived by an organization in San Francisco whose mission was to open doors for convicted felons seeking to reenter the job market after jail or prison.  (See bantheboxcampaign.org.)  The concept is simple – letting those with criminal convictions get their foot in the door and ultimately obtain gainful employment benefits society as a whole.  It is no surprise that ex-convicts who are unable to find jobs after being released from prison are more likely to re-offend than those who obtain work.  However, the realities facing employers in this litigious society should…