Attorney General Phil Weiser joins group of 41 AGs urging Congress to stabilize funding to support victims of crime
Feb. 7, 2024 – Attorney General Phil Weiser is joining a bipartisan coalition of 41 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to authorize much-needed 2024 bridge funding for the federal Crime Victims Fund (VOCA Fund). The VOCA Fund supports the provision of essential direct services for crime victims and survivors across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, projected fiscal year 2024 funding for victim service grants will be $700 million lower than fiscal year 2023.
“As Colorado Attorney General, I have made protecting victims a top priority,” stated Weiser. “It is imperative that we fully and effectively fund services for victims, who have suffered already from a crime and should not be victimized again during the criminal justice system.”
The VOCA Fund was established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, and it is the primary financial source for victim services in all 50 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. VOCA Fund revenue is generated from offenders convicted of crimes, not from taxes.
In 2021, Congress passed the VOCA Fix Act, which allows monetary recoveries from federal deferred prosecutions and non-prosecution agreements to replenish the fund. While passage of the VOCA Fix Act was necessary, it was not sufficient to adequately shore up fund balances, and 2024 VOCA funding for crime victim service programs is anticipated to be 41% lower nationwide when compared to 2023 grant awards. Without prompt action by Congress, many victim service programs across the country may be forced to close.
The VOCA Fund supports medical care, mental health counseling, lost wages, courtroom advocacy and temporary housing for victims and survivors of crime. It also helps to fund federal, state, and tribal victim service programs, crime victim compensation, discretionary grant awards, victim specialists in U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the federal victim notification system.
A copy of the letter can be found here.
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