DoJ awards over $1.8B in grants to victims of crimes

October 6, 2020

By a Biometrica staffer

The US Department of Justice has awarded over $1.8 billion in grants to assist victims of crime nationwide, it said in a statement.

These grants were released by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), a component of the department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) to state victim assistance and compensation programs, that in turn fund thousands of local victim assistance programs across the country and provide millions in compensation to victims of crime.

The vast majority of the over $1.6 billion in victim assistance funding goes to local direct service programs, including children’s advocacy centers, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, human trafficking and elder abuse programs, civil legal services, crime victims’ rights enforcement, as well as victim assistance positions in prosecutors’ offices and law enforcement departments.

State victim compensation programs will receive over $133 million to supplement the state funds that offset victims’ financial burdens resulting from crime. This compensation is often extremely vital to victims who face enormous financial setbacks from medical fees, lost income, dependent care, funeral expenses, and other costs.

OVC’s flagship formula grant program is supported by the Crime Victims Fund (the Fund), which was established under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). The Fund supports programs and services that focus on helping victims in the immediate aftermath of crime and continuing to support them as they rebuild their lives. In FY 2019 alone, VOCA grants served over 7 million victims and paid more than $399 million in compensation claims.

The Fund is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders and does not include tax dollars. Additional information about FY 2020 grant awards made by OVC can be found here.