Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe announced that the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded $291,414 in reparations to 181 crime victims during February, 2004. Additional expenses were paid in 123 previously submitted cases. Beebe noted that in 2003, nearly 2,700 claimants received $3,347,732 in reparations. That’s an increase of $510,917 from the 2002 total.
Created by the 76th General Assembly in 1987, the program provides compensation for victims’ unexpected expenses, including medical treatment, mental-health counseling, lost wages, replacement services and funeral expenses. Most awards are limited to $10,000 or less. However, for victims receiving catastrophic injuries resulting in total and permanent disability on or after August 1, 1999, the maximum award can be as high as $25,000.
One of the most innovative aspects of the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Program is that a portion of the reparations funding comes from fines imposed on the convicted criminals. Additionally, court costs and fees are a major revenue source for the program.
The Attorney General’s Office provides staff to administer the Crime Victims Program under the direction of the Crime Victims Reparations Board. The board members decide which claims can be paid and how much the awards should be.
Alvin Clay of Little Rock, Dr. Jan Church of Little Rock, Colleen Nick of Alma, Susan Bradberry of Stuttgart and Jodi Dennis of Pine Bluff comprise the Board.
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