HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Today, Attorney General Jim Hood partnered with 54 attorneys general to call upon the United States House of Representatives to act on the Amy, Vicky and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2017. The act would set guidelines for restitution and guarantee that victims receive "timely and meaningful restitution," according to a news release.
As of right now, the law requires that a child pornography victim must pursue every case in which a defendant was found to have their image in order to receive restitution.
"Victims of this disgusting crime should not be treated any differently when it comes to restitution and perpetrators should not get off the hook," said Hood. "Our office works hard to lock up the people who are exploiting our children and the process should be completed with those victims being fairly compensated for the harm caused to them."
In the letter by the attorneys general to the House leadership they said, "preventing victims from collecting full restitution protects defendants, who are shielded from having to pay meaningful costs to those they have harmed… while nothing can undo the harm done to these victims by perpetrators who produce, share and views these images, Congress can act to make it easier for victims to receive meaningful restitution."
The U.S. Senate passed the bill on January 23. The National Associations of Attorney General previously supported similar legislation in 2014, which also passed the Senate. But, it did not pass in the House.