DOJ Awards Record $3.4B for Crime Victims

Most of the funds are being awarded to states under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance Formula Grant Program and will support local government and community-based victim services.

The U.S. Justice Department announced awards totaling more than $3.4 billion to fund thousands of local victim assistance programs and to help compensate victims in every state for crime-related losses. Distributed through two grant programs administered by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the awards surpass every other single-year grant amount in the program’s 34-year history, DOJ said. The grants are supported by the Crime Victims Fund, a repository of federal criminal fines, fees, and special assessments. The fund does not include tax dollars.

More than $3.3 billion of the funds are being awarded to states under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance Formula Grant Program and will support local government and community-based victim services. In 2017, VOCA grants aided more than 6,700 local organizations. Over the last two years, VOCA-funded programs have reached more than 5.2 million victims, providing services ranging from emergency shelter and transportation to crisis counseling, long-term therapy, and civil legal assistance, DOJ said. Victim compensation programs operating in all 50 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia are get almost $129 million to reimburse victims and survivors for medical fees, lost income, dependent care, funeral expenses, and other costs. This compensation is often a lifeline to victims who face enormous financial setbacks on top of the emotional strife they experience. “Americans suffer from millions of violent acts every year, and only a fraction of victims get the help they so desperately need and deserve,” said OVC Director Darlene Hutchinson.

from https://thecrimereport.org