April 28, 2009

Delegation Announces $750,000 for RI Crime Victim Assistance and Compensation Programs

Nation Observes 25th Year of the Victims of Crime Act

Washington, DC – Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation today announced $754,862 in Recovery Act funds for victim assistance and compensation programs. The announcement coincides with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Rhode Island will receive $185,862 for crime victim compensation programs and $569,000 for crime victim assistance.

“This funding will help ensure crime victims have access to critical support services so they can begin to rebuild their lives. For years, Rhode Island’s Crime Victims Fund has played a vital role in helping crime victims heal their wounds, both physical and emotional, and get back on their feet,” said Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds Department of Justice programs.

“Crime victims can never fully be made whole, but these funds will be an enormous help to these individuals and families as they work through a difficult time in their lives,” said Whitehouse, a former U.S. Attorney and Attorney General for Rhode Island and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The Crime Victims Fund provides crucial assistance and compensation in the form of counseling, emergency shelter, crisis intervention and criminal justice advocacy to those in need. These additional federal dollars supplied through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will bring much needed aid to those in the community who have been affected by criminal activity,” said Kennedy.

“It is imperative to support programs that help those in our neighborhoods who have been victims of crime,” said Langevin. “This latest round of Recovery Act funding will reach deep into our communities to help those suffering and recovering from traumatic events.”

The Crime Victims Fund, established by the landmark Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA), is a nationwide fund that supports victim services. The fund is financed by federal criminals’ fines and penalties, not taxpayer dollars. Millions of dollars are deposited into the Crime Victims Fund annually with more than $6.9 billion total distributed. Today, 4,200 local organizations provide counseling, courtroom advocacy, temporary housing, and other services to crime victims.

The funding is administered by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) through its Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it will release $100 million in Recovery Act funds for programs, with $95 million distributed through state formula grants to victim assistance and compensation programs today. DOJ will award an additional $5 million in Recovery Act discretionary funds to provide training and technical assistance and to support demonstration programs in areas ranging from child abuse to sexual assault to victim services in corrections later this year.


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