WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the U.S. Senate unanimously handed bipartisan laws co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) to amend the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to maintain the Crime Victims Fund. The VOCA Repair to Maintain the Crime Victims Fund Act will redirect financial penalties from federal deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements into the CVF to extend funding for state sufferer compensation and help packages.
“I applaud my colleagues for voting to protect and strengthen the Crime Victims Fund,” mentioned Senator Tillis. “We owe it to each sufferer to verify sufferer service suppliers in North Carolina and nationwide have the mandatory assets to help these in want. The VOCA Repair ensures important funding for crime sufferer providers packages, together with Kids Advocacy Facilities in North Carolina. I sit up for President Biden signing this crucial laws into legislation.”
VOCA established the CVF, which gives grant funding for state sufferer compensation and help packages. Grants are awarded to states, native governments, people, and different entities by the Justice Division’s Workplace for Victims of Crime. The CVF doesn’t obtain appropriated funding; as an alternative, it receives cash by way of deposits from prison fines. Consequently, deposits fluctuate yearly based mostly on instances that the Justice Division prosecutes.
Deposits into the CVF are traditionally low, and the lower is due largely to better use of deferred prosecutions and non-prosecution agreements. Financial penalties related to these prosecutions are at present deposited into the Normal Treasury, not the CVF.
Because of the quickly diminishing stability within the CVF, sufferer providers are already being slashed in states throughout the nation, and a few packages and providers may even see near a 100 % reduce inside two years if Congress doesn’t act. Grant awards to states already decreased in each Fiscal 12 months (FY) 2019 and FY2020, and victims in rural and smaller jurisdictions might be significantly impacted by the cuts.
The bipartisan, bicameral VOCA Repair to Maintain the Crime Victims Fund Act would strengthen VOCA and protect the CVF by amending how the CVF is funded. Vital modifications within the invoice embrace:
- Directing prison settlements from Federal non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements, that are at present deposited into the Normal Treasury, into the CVF (generally known as the “deposits repair,” this modification can be essentially the most vital and will make an extra $4–$7 billion of non-taxpayer cash accessible to the CVF over the subsequent few years);
- Growing the share that state compensation packages are reimbursed by the Federal authorities from 60 to 75 %;
- Permitting states to use for a no-cost extension for VOCA help grants;
- Giving states the flexibility to waive subgrantee match necessities for VOCA help grants; and
- Offering extra flexibility for state sufferer compensation packages to offer compensation for victims, even when they don’t work together with legislation enforcement.