DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AWARDED MORE THAN $546 MILLION IN FISCAL YEAR 2007 TO ASSIST CRIME VICTIMS
WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice awarded more than $546 million in Fiscal Year 2007 to assist crime victims through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) compensation and assistance programs and the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) initiative, the Department announced today.
"We have made considerable progress in responding to the needs of crime victims, but more work remains," said Cybele K. Daley, Acting Assistant Attorney General at the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). "The VOCA awards and the SAVIN program allow us to increase victim participation in the justice system and, as a result, we believe these programs will help us increase offender accountability."
In Fiscal Year 2007, OJP's Office for Victims of Crime distributed more than $370 million to the states through VOCA victim assistance grants and more than $165 million to the states through VOCA compensation grants. Both the victim assistance grants and the victim compensation awards are funded by the Crime Victims Fund, which is derived from fines, penalty assessments, and bail forfeitures collected from convicted federal criminals. Victim compensation programs provide reimbursement to, or on behalf of, crime victims for crime-related expenses such as medical costs, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, and lost wages or loss of support. State victim assistance programs fund local victim assistance services such as crisis intervention, counseling, emergency shelter, and criminal justice system advocacy.
More than $11 million in SAVIN funding was awarded to 15 states in Fiscal Year 2007. The SAVIN program, which is administered by OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance, helps states build, implement, or improve their statewide automated victim notification systems. These systems enable crime victims to obtain offender information via a toll-free number, or by visiting the state's victim information Web site. Crime victims can register to be notified through telephone, e-mail, or Telecommunication Device for the Deaf, each time the status of their offender or case changes.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) 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 five component bureaus: 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. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) Office. More information about the VOCA program, and the list of VOCA grant recipients in Fiscal Year 2007 is available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/grants/recoveryformula.html#victimcompensation. The SAVIN initiative is outlined at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/grant/07SAVINawards.pdf.