Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a coalition of 56 state and territorial attorneys general representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories urging Congress to adopt key changes to the Victims of Crime Act that provide critical financial support to victims of violent crimes and their families.
In a letter to the U.S. Congress, the attorneys general call for changes to the Crime Victims Fund (the Fund), a national fund that supports state victims’ services programs. The recommendations will stabilize the Fund’s finances and provide more flexibility to grantees who are providing services to victims and their families.
“As the Crime Victims Fund continues to decrease due to a decline in fines and penalties recouped from federal criminal cases, I urge Congress to amend the Fund so that crime victims continue to have access to these critical programs,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Our coalition’s recommendations will help support our states’ ability to effectively serve crime victims and survivors for years to come.”
The Fund, established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (“VOCA”), is the primary funding source for victim services in all 50 states and six U.S. territories. Deposits to the Fund originate from criminal fines, forfeited bail bonds, penalties and special assessments collected by U.S. Attorneys' Offices, federal courts and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Fund covers the expenses of essential direct services and support for victims and survivors in the aftermath of crime, including medical care, mental health counseling, lost wages, courtroom advocacy and temporary housing.
Read a copy of the letter here.