OJP Press Release letterhead

TUESDAY, MAY 13, 2003
Contact: Adam Spector


    COLUMBUS, OHIO – Ohio received $13,221,000 in victim assistance funds and $8,783,000 in victim compensation funds from the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), which will provide support and services for thousands of victims throughout the state. OVC Director John W. Gillis announced the awards at the 13th Annual “Two Days in May” Conference on Victim Assistance.

    “Through these grants, crime victims across Ohio will receive the compassionate support they need,” said Gillis. “Whether victims needs are physical, emotional or economic, the hundreds of outstanding victims’ programs in Ohio stand ready to assist them.”

    The “Two Days in May” Conference, which began yesterday, is sponsored by the Ohio Office of the Attorney General. The conference provides training to law enforcement, prosecutors, court personnel and victim service providers on issues including domestic violence, child sexual abuse and outreach to under-served crime victims.

    Ohio uses its crime victim assistance funds to support statewide and local initiatives, including domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, child abuse victims programs and other initiatives that provide counseling, advocacy or emergency transportation to victims. Ohio can also use these funds for innovative efforts such as sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs or victim service units in law enforcement agencies, prosecutors offices and social service agencies.

    Ohio’s compensation program receives annual grants equal to 60 percent of its total payout to crime victims in a previous year. Compensation programs work similarly to private insurance, providing reimbursement to, or on behalf of, crime victims for expenses such as medical costs, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, and lost wages.

    Mr. Gillis also announced a $500,000 grant from OVC to Parents of Murdered Children (POMC), a national organization based in Cincinnati. POMC will assist grassroots victim service providers through information sharing, training, and other support.

    Money for these annual awards comes from the Crime Victims Fund – which is supported primarily by fines paid by federal criminal offenders – not taxpayers. These fines are collected by United States Attorneys, the U.S. Courts and the Bureau of Prisons. Fines collected in one year are deposited into the Fund and are available for grant awards the following year. The USA Patriot Act of 2001 allowed private gifts, donations and bequests to the Crime Victims Fund.

    Over 90 percent of Fund deposits are distributed annually by OVC to states and territories to support state victim compensation and victim assistance programs. Remaining funds are used for training and technical assistance, national demonstration projects and to improve handling of child abuse cases in Indian communities. In addition, these funds support victim witness coordinator and advocate positions for U.S. Attorney Offices, victim specialist positions in the FBI and a federal victim notification system.

    OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime is committed to enhancing the nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and providing leadership in changing policies and practices to promote justice and healing for crime victims.

    More information on Ohio’s victim assistance efforts is available from the Ohio Crime Victim Assistance Office at 614-466-5610.Additional information about victim compensation efforts is available from the Court of Claims of Ohio at 614-466-7788.

    Media should contact OJP’s Office of Communications at 202-307-0703, or, for inquiries about the “Two Days in May” Conference, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Communications Office at 614-466-3840.

    The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises 5 component bureaus and 2 offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Executive Office for Weed and Seed, and the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education.Information about OJP programs, publications, and conferences is available on the OJP Web site, www.ojp.usdoj.gov.

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