Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that California has received $64.8 million in federal funds to assist victims of violent crime.
“This money will allow California to better help crime victims,” said Schwarzenegger. “Victims of crime deserve this assistance so that they can overcome the devastating effects of crime.”
The grant – the largest ever in the 39-year history of the California Victim Compensation Program – is an annual award made possible by the 1984 Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) and is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.
The VOCA funds are a major funding source for victim services throughout the nation. Millions of dollars are deposited into the federal victims’ fund each year from fines, forfeited bail bonds, penalties, and special assessments paid by federal criminal offenders. These federal dollars make up a portion of the state’s restitution fund along with revenue from fines and fees paid by California criminal offenders. No taxpayer dollars are used to fund the Victim Compensation Program.
The annual grant size is based upon a percentage of the amount of state money paid to victims in prior years.
This year’s grant is based on the record $125.9 million awarded by the Victim Compensation Program to California victims of crime and their service providers in Fiscal Year 2001/02.
The Victim Compensation Program, administered by the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, reimburses eligible crime victims for losses incurred as a result of being injured or threatened with injury during a crime.
Typical losses include medical/dental expenses, mental health counseling costs, wage loss, support loss for dependants, and funeral/burial expenses.
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