Why isn’t restitution paid out to crime victims on a pro rata basis?

On November 13, an appeals court must determine the proper method to distribute restitution to crime victims.

Currently, restitution is paid to crime victims one-at-a-time, even when there are many victims.  When a criminal pays his $300 per month, all of that money goes to one person until they are paid in full.  Then all of the money goes to the second person, etc..  This would be a great system, except for a couple of problems – first, no less an authority than the New Jersey Constitution mandates that crime victims be treated with fairness and restitution be made whenever possible and second, if you happen to be 9th in line to be paid, you stand a far lesser chance of getting any money if the criminal loses his job, goes back to jail or passes away.

The firm brought a class action to correct this practice, seeking to block the one-at-a-time serial payment policy and force the implementation of a pro rata distribution system where all victims would be paid some money every month.  The simple rationale is that all victims would then bear the risk of non-payment equally.  Surprisingly (this is sarcasm), the government offers no rationale for the current policy other than “this-is-our-policy”.  Felicioni v. Administrative Office of the Courts

Should common sense and simple economic theory prevail over “because this is how it was always done”?

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