What is the Crime Victims Fund? • Created in 1984 as revenue source for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to support state victim assistance and crime victim compensation. • Separate account; self-sufficient. • Paid entirely by Federal criminal offenders; no taxpayer dollars. • Only Federal funding for direct services to victims of all types of crimes.
Unlike other programs… • Permanent authorization, no sunset. • Continuing appropriation. • Cap on Fund delays amounts otherwise available for obligation. • Unobligated amounts remain in Fund for future victim services.
Services How Crime Victims Fund works… Crime Victims Fund Year One Year Two
State Compensation Formula Grants (1984) State Victim Assistance Formula Grants (1984) OVC Discretionary Grants (1984) Children’s Justice Act (1986) U.S. Attorneys’ Victim/Witness (2000) FBI Victim Assistance Specialists (2001) Federal Victim Notification System (2002) Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve (1996; 2001) OJP Offices; OAAM, CCDO (2006) OJP Management & Administration (2008) Services VOCA Program Areas
56 jurisdictions grant: base $+ % pop. 4,400 public and nonprofit agencies… provide direct victim assistance services… to 3.8 million victims of all types of crimes each year. • crisis intervention and counseling • support groups and therapy/treatment • emergency shelter • Information/referral and hotlines • legal advocacy and emergency financial assist. • criminal justice system (case status/disposition • information, restitution assistance) • personal advocacy and case management State Victim Assistance Grants
Fund Deposits/Caps 1985-2007 = $9 Billion Est. FY 09 Opening Balance $1.9 Billion
Capped to stabilize funding… “The conferees have taken this action [delaying annual Fund obligations] to protect against wide fluctuations in receipts into the Fund,and to ensure that a stable level of funding will remain available for these programs in future years.” [FY 2000; Conf. Rpt. 106-479] “… all sums deposited in the Fund in any fiscal year that are not made available for obligation by Congress in the subsequent fiscal yearshall remain in the Fund for obligation in future fiscal years, without fiscal year limitation.” [42 U.S.C.10601(c); amended Pub. L. 106-386; Oct. 28, 2000] “The conferees have taken this action to protect against wide fluctuations in receipts into the Fund, and to ensure that a stable level of funding will remain available for these programs in future years. [FY 2002; Conf. Rpt 107-278] “[The cap] is continued to ensure a stable source of funds will remain available for the program, despite inconsistent levels of criminal fines deposited annually into the fund.” [FY 2005; House Rpt. 108-576]
Capped to stabilize funding… “[The cap is continued to ensure a stable source of funds will remain available for the program, despite inconsistent levels of criminal fines deposited annually into the fund. Requested language rescinding the remaining balances in the Crime Victims Fund is not included.” [FY 2006; House Rpt. 109-118] “Section 612, modified from fiscal year 2006 and the request, delays the obligations of any receipts deposited into the Crime Victims Fund in excess of $625,000,000 until October 1, 2007. This language is continued to ensure a stable source of funds will remain available for the program, despite inconsistent levels of criminal fines deposited annually into the fund. Requested language rescinding the remaining balances in the Crime Victims Fund is not included.” [FY 2007; House Rpt. 109-520] “… [the crime victims] fund has to be managed to ensure that there’s a source of funds that will remain available for the program despite the inconsistent levels of the criminal fees that are deposited there annually. So part of that is trying to manage the account to assure stability year in and year out so that funds will be available for victims to be paid out according to the authority.” [Cong. Rec., July 25, 2007]
2009 Budget Request • Rescinds $2.024 billion. • Sets cap at $590 million. • Includes $50 million Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve “under the cap.” • Transforms Fund from special account into revenue-offset account.
$2.024 billion Rescission • Opening balance, 2009 (“rainy day” balance) $1,904 • plus amounts to be collected during 2009 710 2,614 • lessnew budget authority (cap) -590 • less rescission -2,024 • Opening balance, 2010 -0- What happens in 2010?
VOCA Allocation Sequence Under the cap (2008 estimate)$590.0 • OJP Management & Administration – 5.5% 32.5 • OJP Office of Audit, Assessment and Management – 1.5% 8.9 • Children’s Justice Act 20.0 • U.S. Atty’s Victim/Witness Coord. 25.2 • FBI Victim Assistance Specialists 13.1 • Federal Victim Notification System 5.5 Of amounts remaining: 454.8 • OVC Discretionary Grants – 5% 24.2 • State Compensation Grants - 60% of previous year’s state-funded payout ($285.5m) 171.3 • State Victim Assistance Grants - whatever’s left over! 289.3 • Above the Cap (except 2009 request) • Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve – ($50m); replenished with up to 5% of fund balance after other allocations.
“Whatever’s left over” means … As other VOCA programs increase, state victim assistance grants decrease. If VOCA cap is lowered, assistance grants decline. Other costs (AER, M&A, etc.) “under cap,” state assistance grants are cut even more.
$770* $625 $625 $374 $590 $590* VOCA Victim Assistance Grants cut by $159 million (40%) since 2006 $354 $301 $254 $229 $396 $396 $371 $236 $289 VOCA Program Funding Cap Other VOCA Programs/OJP Costs StateVictim Assistance Grants 2009 Request 2006 2007 2008 est. 2009 est. In millions * Includes $ 50 million AER
$1.3b $1.1b Fund Availability
Restore VOCA Assistance • $770 million cap = FY 2006 state victim assistance grants. • $717 million cap, if AER kept above the cap. • $677 million cap, if OJP M&A direct appropriation ($32.4 million). • Money already collected from Federal offenders and kept in Fund to maintain stable funding for victim services. • Does not include increases in: • Crime rates. • Demands for services. • Types of crimes (e.g. stalking, human trafficking, identity theft, etc.). • Costs of operations (e.g. gas, heat/utilities, stamps, etc.). • Direct funding for state victim assistance grants.
What Cut Means… • Some will turn away victims needing services. • Some will lose staff. • Some programs will close entirely.
Impact of VOCA Cuts on States Arizona Sexual Assault victims waiting 5 months California A 10% cut that will force someprograms to close Minnesota Lose equivalent of 5 programs Oregon 18 FTE cut to 4 FTE for competitive grants Massachusetts Funded programs cut from 90 to 65 Pennsylvania Counseling staffs cut 12% and advocates 6% Iowa 14 programs closed since 2005
National Center for Victims of Crime • Survey of Victim Service Providers (VSP). • Effect of VOCA cuts. • More than 1,000 responses.
VOCA’s Importance "We have three over-worked victim advocates; two of them are totally paid for with VOCA Funds.“ Prosecutor-based victim assistant (GA) “VOCA covers almost all of the counseling staff for our women’s shelter and sexual assault program.” Nonprofit service provider (VA) “We are a bare-bones organization…VOCA funding for staff and services are the only way most of our poor and homeless clients ever get assistance.” Nonprofit service provider (TX)
Impact of Cuts "We are approaching the 'blood from a turnip' stage. All costs and expenses are going up. We have good community support but due to the state of the economy the community cannot provide more support than it already provides." Nonprofit Service Provider (ID) "The situation in economically-devastated Michigan cannot be overemphasized as a contributor to our concern over VOCA funding. For many of us, VOCA keeps core services alive." Nonprofit service provider (MI) "VOCA funding is vital in providing services to those, who not fault of their own, have become victims of the most vicious of crimes. If this funding were not available, these victims would go without advocacy, medical, mental health, and/or legal services, which is crucial in a victim's healing process." Nonprofit service provider (WV)
Steve Derene email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 608-233-2245 web: www.navaa.org Susan Howley email: email@example.com tel: 202-467-8722 web: www.ncvc.org