Attorney General announces $51 million in extra crime victim service funding
Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 was a record breaking year for deposits, with $2.795 billion going into the Fund (figure 1). In keeping with VOCA’s mandated allocation process, $359 million in formula grants was channeled from the Fund to states and territories for victim compensation in FYs 2011 and 2012, while more than $807 million was provided for victim assistance.
Crime victim advocates throughout the state will benefit from an additional $51 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Victims of Crime Act grant, according to the Attorney General’s office. The grant is funded through fees and settlements in federal criminal cases.
Funding will be distributed among 307 crime victim service providers throughout the focusing on addressing such issues as elder abuse, human trafficking and services for the disabled.
“Through this initiative, we will help crime victim service agencies throughout the state enhance the essential services they already provide to crime victims , while also funding brand new programs that will help empower survivors to overcome their victimization,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said.
Several local crime victim service agencies are included in this funding, such as Crime Victim Services, which received almost $1.6 million in funding for 10 to 11 new positions in elder victim ministry, rape crisis, human trafficking and outreach and intake victim advocacy, working to help victims difficult to reach.
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While the funding is aiding in creating the infrastructure to aid more victims, Crime Victim Services director David Voth emphasized that there will be an increased need for volunteers to help work with them in elder abuse or Court Appointed Special Advocates.
“Now we really need more volunteers because some additional staff are volunteer coordinators,” he said. “Not a penny of all this money can be used for emergency money for victims, which means we still desperately need money for our Good Samaritan Fund for emergency medicine or an emergency utility bill for victims.”
Voth also said that to receive this money, which could add the potential of helping 1,000 victims on top of its current projection of 2,700, Crime Victim Services still relies on funding from local sources to provide match dollars for these funds.
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The Crime Victims Fund (the Fund), established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA), is a major funding source for victim services throughout the Nation. Millions of dollars have been deposited into the Fund annually from criminal fines, forfeited bail bonds, penalties, and special assessments collected by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, federal U.S. courts, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. To date, Fund dollars have always come from offenders convicted of federal crimes, not from taxpayers. Previous legislation expanded the sources from which Fund deposits may come.
Federal revenues deposited into the Crime Victims Fund come from the following sources:
- Criminal fines, with exceptions for funds related to certain environmental, railroad, unemployment insurance, and postal service violations.
- Forfeited appearance bonds.
- Special forfeitures of collateral profits from crime.
- Special assessments that range from $25 on individuals convicted of misdemeanors and from $400 on corporations convicted of felonies.
- Gifts, donations, and bequests by private parties, as provided by the USA PATRIOT Act 2001, which went into effect in 2002
What Is Crime Victim Compensation?
Crime victim compensation is a direct reimbursement to or on behalf of a crime victim for the following statutorily identified crime-related expenses:
- Medical costs.
- Funeral and burial costs.
- Mental health counseling.
- Lost wages or loss of support.
Other compensable expenses may include the replacement or repair of eyeglasses or other corrective lenses, dental services and devices, prosthetic devices, crime scene cleanup, and forensic sexual assault exams. However, property damage and loss are not covered.