Restitution Collection during Incarceration
Per DOC policy 300.100, Minnesota Department of Corrections can collect restitution from the offender during incarceration in the following ways:
- 10% of any money coming into the facility for offenders that have restitution or court-ordered obligations. This applies to money sent to offenders by their family and friends. Refund money coming in is exempt from this collection.
- 10% of any money sent out by an offender, if that offender has restitution or court-ordered obligations. Some offenders are able to save money, which they choose to send to their family or friends in the community, as well as order allowable comfort items from catalogs. This money is now subject to the 10 percent surcharge. Certain types of orders are not subject to this change, such as glasses, filing fees, exams for college classes, among others.
- 5% surcharge is collected on canteen purchases for offenders that have restitution or court-ordered obligations. Hygiene items are the exception and there is no surcharge assessed on those items.
- Prison wages. Every offender is required to place a portion of their wages into the Gate Fee, up to $500. They are not allowed to utilize this gate fee prior to release, when it can be useful with reentry into the community. Initially when an offender starts receiving prison wages, 50% goes for gate fee and the other 50% goes into the offender’s spending account until there is a gate fee balance of $100. After that point, any earned prison wages will be divided into 50% offender spending account, 25% gate fee, and 25% restitution and court-ordered obligations. Once the gate fee balance reaches $500, 50% of earned prison wages will be applied to restitution and court ordered obligations.
It should also be noted if the offender has child support arrears and/or current child support, per Minnesota state statute child support is a higher priority than restitution and court-ordered obligations. Therefore, child support would need to be paid prior to collection of restitution and court-ordered obligations.
Once the DOC receives the restitution order from the Court, the information is entered accordingly into a database. It is possible that an offender may have more than one restitution order and/or multiple restitution recipients per one court order. The restitution payments will be paid out in the order that the court orders were received. Restitution collected during incarceration will be sent to the appropriate county court administration to be disbursed to the restitution recipient(s).
If you believe you were awarded restitution in a criminal case and the offender is incarcerated in a Minnesota Correctional Facility, please contact staff at (651)361-7250.
Victims can also try to collect restitution through the civil court. To get the restitution order "docketed," or entered as a civil judgment, the victim must file an Affidavit of Identification of Judgment Debtor with the Court. The civil judgment creates a lien against the offender/debtor that will show up on credit checks and real estate title searches until the restitution is paid. The judgment is enforceable for 10 years and can be renewed.
There is no filing fee for victims named in the restitution order. Once a civil judgment is filed, information about the victim becomes public. Victims can use the tools available through the civil courts to collect on this judgment, for example, garnishment of wages or bank accounts. Victims who do not know where the offender works or banks can contact the court administrator to file a Request for Order for Disclosure to obtain the offender's financial information. A Writ of Execution, also obtained from the court administrator, is used to seize assets to repay the debt. The local sheriff executes the Writ of Execution for a fee. Some property may be seized in this way, but many items are exempt from seizure.
Information and forms regarding this process are available from the local court administrator or on the Minnesota judicial Branch Website at www.mncourts.gov
Minnesota Crime Victim Reparations Board
Crime Victim Reparations is a state program that provides financial assistance to victims of violent crime. Reparations can compensate victims for expenses related to the crime, including medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, and loss of support. However, it does not compensate victims for property losses. Reparations can compensate victims regardless of whether the case is charged or successfully prosecuted. Victims of violent crime should apply for reparations even if they are also requesting restitution.
Victims and their families do not have to wait for the completion of any medical, dental, or mental health treatment to apply for reparations. They are encouraged to apply as soon as possible after the incident to hasten reimbursement. Claim forms are available from the Minnesota Crime Victim Reparations Board at (651)201-7300 or www.dps.mn.gov
For more information regarding civil judgment and reparations, you may contact the Minnesota Department of Public Safety-Office of Justice Programs at (651)201-7300.