The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Thursday announced grant awards totaling over $40 million to enhance services for victims of crime across the United States.
The grants build on more than $1.2 billion in funding announced in September to support victim assistance and victim compensation programs administered by states and territories.
“The Department of Justice is committed to doing all it can to reduce violent crime, and supporting victims of crime is not only critical to those efforts but also central to our most fundamental responsibility: protecting our fellow citizens,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “The resources announced today will provide direct support to victims of crime as they recover and also bolster the important work of our state, local and Tribal partners who provide victims with comprehensive, high-quality victim services and care.”
Approximately $38 million are being awarded under 12 grant programs administered by OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). Almost $2.9 million will be awarded by OJP’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to support research, and $2.1 million will be awarded by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to support the National Census of Victim Service Providers. Most of the funding comes from the Crime Victims Fund, which was established by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984. The fund is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders, not from tax dollars.
“The needs of crime victims are varied and unique, so when it comes to services, one size does not fit all,” said Director Kristina Rose of OJP’s OVC. “Service providers can use VOCA funding to create and enhance programs that are culturally specific and reflect the communities they are serving.”
The funded programs and their amounts are listed below.
- Under the Advancing the Use of Technology to Assist Victims of Crime program, OVC awarded almost $10 million to implement innovative strategies to create, expand or enhance the use of technology to interact directly with crime victims and/or to provide information, referrals, crisis assistance and longer-term help.
- Under the Expanding Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Services to Victims of Sexual Assault program, OVC awarded more than $7 million to establish or expand sexual assault examination programs that focus on improving the provision of sexual assault care using a community-based approach, such as through a campus community, nonprofit, community-based and/or Tribe-affiliated victim services provider. Funding will also be awarded to an organization to provide technical assistance to the grantees.
- Under the Transforming America’s Response to Elder Abuse: Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams (E-MDTs) for Older Victims of Financial Exploitation and Abuse program, OVC awarded nearly $3.7 million to support the development and/or enhancement of multidisciplinary teams and to strengthen the capacity of E-MDTs to better identify and respond to cases of elder abuse and more comprehensively serve and support victims of financial exploitation.
- Under the National Center for Culturally Responsive Victim Services program, OVC awarded $3 million for the development, operation and management of OVC’s National Center. The center will facilitate the delivery of national-scale, high quality training and technical assistance to increase access to victim services and victim compensation for victims of crime in areas that have been historically underserved, marginalized and/or adversely affected by inequality.
- Under the Building State Technology Capacity program, OVC awarded more than $2.6 million to implement statewide technology programs to enhance victims’ access to services, foster innovation and efficiency in the provision of services, improve the quality of services and improve the accessibility and responsiveness of victim service organizations.
- Under the Fostering Resilience and Hope: Bridging the Gap Between Law Enforcement and the Community program, OVC awarded $2.5 million to support the development, implementation and dissemination of a train-the-trainer trauma-informed, hope-centered framework to help law enforcement officers address trauma and adversity and rebuild relationships within the community.
- Under the Advancing Hospital-Based Victim Services program, OVC awarded nearly $2.5 million to four organizations and one technical assistance provider to improve linkages between the victim services field and hospitals and other medical facilities that increase support for victims of crime, improve outcomes and reduce chances of future victimization.
- Under the Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance Grant Program, OVC awarded over $2.4 million to provide funding for shelter and transitional housing and other assistance to victims of domestic violence and their pets.
- Under the Services to Support Victims of Hate Crime and Strengthen Communities programs, OVC awarded $2 million to support field-generated, innovative strategies, approaches and models to support individuals, groups and communities impacted by hate crime.
- Under the Addressing Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting program, OVC awarded nearly $1.5 million to deliver community-based programming to stop female genital mutilation and cutting by educating communities and forming community networks of agencies and organizations that are positioned to identify girls at risk and respond to victims.
- Under the National Joint Training Conference for VOCA Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation Administrators, OVC awarded $600,000 to plan and administer training activities to bring Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation Administrators and their staff together for training conferences in 2022, 2023 and 2024.
- Under the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Community Awareness Projects program, OVC awarded $300,000 to one organization to increase public awareness of crime victims’ rights and services nationwide and strengthen the capacity of victim assistance agencies to develop a broad, collaborative approach to community awareness that highlights services for all types of crime victims during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
- Under the Research and Evaluation of Services for Victims of Crime program, NIJ awarded over $2.9 million to five organizations to support research and evaluation of state crime victim compensation programs, research on the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of services to victims of crime, and evaluation of programs that provide services for victims of crime.
- Under the National Census of Victim Service Providers program, BJS awarded nearly $2.1 million to one recipient to develop a statistical infrastructure around victim services and address major gaps in our knowledge about the availability and use of services to support victims of crime or abuse.
In addition to the grants listed above, over $1.041 billion in victim assistance funding supports local direct service programs, including children’s advocacy centers, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, human trafficking and elder abuse programs, civil legal services, crime victims’ rights enforcement, as well as victim advocate positions in prosecutors’ offices and law enforcement departments. State victim compensation programs will receive over $186.8 million to supplement the state funds that assist victims with financial burdens such as medical fees, lost income, dependent care, funeral expenses, and other costs resulting from crime.
Furthermore, OVC awarded nearly $87 million in funding to combat human trafficking, provide supportive services to trafficking victims throughout the United States and conduct research into the nature and causes of labor and sex trafficking. OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention also has awarded grants to support services for child victims, and OJP’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking awarded more than $20 million to register and track sex offender registration and protect young athletes.