As a criminal defense attorney, I believe wholeheartedly that everyone deserves a defense. Even so, my heart breaks when victims of criminal acts suffer trauma and other losses. It is good news for all that crime victims in Indiana are receiving $67 million in federal funds to cover the costs of victimization.
The Victims of Crime Act, Explained
Passed in 1984, the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) created a fund called the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) to support victims of criminal acts. The U.S. Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) explains that federal organizations, states, and tribal leaders can apply for grants through the OVC.
Organizations that receive money from the CVF may:
- Pay for housing for victims fleeing domestic violence
- Cover medical care for victims of assault, battery, attempted murder, and other acts of violence
- Fund rape crisis centers
- Provide other victim services that they believe are necessary for their community
Taxpayers do not fund the Crime Victims Fund. Instead, the fund receives billions of dollars yearly from fines and penalties levied against convicted offenders.
How the Legislation Will Help Crime Victims in Indiana
Indiana’s allotted portion from the Crime Victim Fund in 2022 is $67 million. Though public officials have spoken in general terms about “the needs of victims” and helping those affected by crime “rebuild their lives,” Devon McDonald of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute did offer a few specifics.
McDonald said that Indiana generally directs Crime Victim Fund dollars to:
- Helping victims of domestic abuse build lives without abusive partners
- Providing treatment to victims of sexual assault
- Funding programs like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
- Proving medical care for victims of robbery or battery
These are vital resources for those who badly need help, and I applaud them.
Everyone Deserves a Defense, Call Razumich & Associates Today
As important as it is to get crime victims essential services, we must also consider those accused of criminal acts. Defense is a fundamental American right. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in Indiana, I can help.
Call Razumich Associates today at (317) 449-8661 or contact our firm online for your free consultation.