State awarded $110M to aid crime victims
ATLANTA — The U.S. Attorneys for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Georgia and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), announce the award of more than $110 million to fund local victim assistance programs across the state and to help compensate victims for crime-related losses. This is the largest award to the State of Georgia under this program in its history.
“Crime victims often suffer physical, emotional and financial injury,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak for the Northern District of Georgia. “While tremendous progress has been made in addressing the rights of crime victims, these funds will justly compensate and lessen the impact of their financial burdens, while also providing additional program resources to support them during their recovery process.”
“No amount of money can fully fix the traumas crime victims and their families frequently endure, but these funds can help offset financial, physical and emotional injuries,” said U.S. Attorney Charles E. Peeler for the Middle District of Georgia. “As important, these funds let the victim community know that their voices are heard.”
“The Department of Justice is committed to seeking justice for crime victims,” states U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine for the Southern District of Georgia. “This historic award, funded almost entirely out of the pockets of those convicted of crime, is an aggressive affirmation that we are putting victims first!”
“As the state administering agency for these funds, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), is pleased to receive this funding and will continue to support organizations that provide direct services to crime victims in Georgia,” said Executive Director Jay Neal. “This funding allows us to aid people when they are potentially at the darkest time in their life, and for that, we are grateful.”
In Georgia, $6,623,000 is being awarded under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Compensation Grant Program to reimburse victims and survivors for medical expenses, mental health counseling, loss of income or support, funeral expenses, and crime scene sanitation. This compensation is often a lifeline to state and federal victims who face enormous financial setbacks on top of the emotional strife they experience.
In addition, $104,998,424 is being awarded to the State of Georgia under the VOCA Victim Assistance Formula grant to support providers of services to crime victims. These funds will be dispersed to local governments and community organizations that provide direct services to victims.
The awards are distributed through two grant programs administered by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), a component of the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, and are supported by the Crime Victims Fund, a repository of federal criminal fines, fees, and special assessments, which includes no tax dollars.