An important part of reforming a criminal’s character is to ensure that he makes amends for his violation of the rights of others. Moreover it is incumbent on the government to ensure that the victims of crime are compensated. To address both requirements, victims of crime should be compensated from a victims compensation fund. The amount of compensation should be determined by a court of law, at which the victim and criminal (if already apprehended and convicted) have the right to be represented. The amount payable should be calculated based on the same formulas used in tort law—plus a punitive component. Each convicted criminal should be required to pay into the fund:

  • All amounts paid out to compensate the victims of his crimes;
  • Any profit he gained from his crimes (including dissipated profits);
  • An additional general levy calculated to allow the fund to pay compensation to the victims of criminals who are executed, escape justice, or die before repaying the fund. This component should be proportionate to the seriousness of his crime.

The money criminals are required to pay into the fund should be raised from:

  • The liquidation of their assets;
  • The garnishment of their income while they are in prison;
  • The garnishment of their income once they are released.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove