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NAAG Supports Funding for Victims of Crime Act Grants

Washington, DC--Attorneys General from 54 states and territories signed a letter sent to members of Congress expressing their support for the Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act of 2009 (S. 1340; HR 3402). The bill would increase the maximum amount of annual Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants to states over the next five years.

VOCA grants are allocated through the Crime Victims Fund, a special account dedicated to providing services to crime victims and made up entirely of fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders. The funds are crucial at the state level in educating victims, training for law enforcement, and administering programs providing compensation. The funds available to provide victims services have declined precipitously in recent years.

“Grants to state VOCA victim assistance programs fund services to more than four million victims of all types of crimes, including, domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, survivors of homicide victims, drunk driving crashes, stalking, identity theft, and elder abuse,” the letter states.

The bill raises the cap on federal VOCA grants to $705 million for fiscal year 2010, and then increases the cap by 23 percent each year through 2014.

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) letter states, “…this reasonable and sustainable increase in federal support will help to ensure that we are able to continue to support victims at a high level and for years to come.”

The standards and formula for allocating the funds will not change and the Crime Victims Fund is projected to maintain a sustainable balance of at least $800 million through 2014.

To view a copy of the letter, go to the NAAG Web site: http://www.naag.org/sign-on_archive.php

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