SHERIFF'S OFFICE CONTINUES TO PRIORITIZE COLLECTION OF RESTITUTION FOR CRIME VICTIMS
When closing out the accounting books for the Sheriff’s Office for 2017, we noted with satisfaction that since 2005 the Sheriff’s Office has collected $2,664,645.15 in restitution that we have paid out to victims of criminal activity.
The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for collecting all restitution that defendants are ordered by pay by the Baxter County Circuit Court. We consider collection of restitution to be one of our top priorities. The Sheriff’s Office has been aggressive over the past years in pursuing the collection of court-ordered restitution and utilizing all lawful methods at our disposal to collect. These include obtaining arrest warrants for those who fail to pay as ordered by the court and putting them on the "Most Wanted" page of our website, suspending driver licenses for failure to pay, and filing claims against income tax refunds through the Arkansas State Income Tax Set-Off Program.
The Sheriff’s Office sometimes collects restitution from a defendant but does not have a valid address on file as to where to send the money to the victim. In those cases, the money will be held in our account for a specific period of time after which it will be paid over to the Auditor of State as unclaimed funds. Therefore, it is important that crime victims who are due restitution by court order from Baxter County Circuit Court keep the Sheriff’s Office informed of current and valid mailing addresses.
It is also important that crime victims who sustained monetary loss from burglary, theft, forgery, hot checks, fraud or etc. keep a detailed list of the loss amounts and supporting documentation and provide them to the Sheriff’s Office and Prosecuting Attorney before the case is adjudicated in court. We can only attempt to collect the restitution amount that is included in the court’s sentencing order at the time the case is disposed of by plea or trial.
Anyone having questions about this process is welcomed to contact us.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff