Hyde-Smith Votes For Victims Of Crime Fund Fix | Mississippi Politics and News
Reforming the bill would increase funding for government victim compensation and assistance programs and subsidies to victim service providers.
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) Today voted in favor of legislation to strengthen funding for the Crime Victims Fund, a grant program of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA ) which supports state-level programs that assist victims of crime.
The Senate voted unanimously to approve the bipartisan VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (HR.1652 / S.611), a measure aimed at strengthening the Crime Victims Fund, whose resources have diminished these last years.
“Unfortunately, Mississippi is not immune to the disturbing increase in crime that we are seeing across the country, although there are some who are campaigning against law enforcement. All crime results in victims, which makes it important to strengthen the Fund for Victims of Crime, ”said Hyde-Smith. “The reforms in this bill will benefit Mississippians by allowing increased funding for state compensation and victim assistance programs and grants to victim service providers.”
The Crime Victims Fund does not receive federal funding. It is based on criminal fine filings, forfeited appearance bonds, penalties, and special assessments collected by U.S. prosecutors’ offices, federal courts, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Justice Office for Victims of Crime Grants administers grants to states and local entities.
The VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act:
- Federal criminal regulations direct federal non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements, currently deposited in the General Treasury, in the Fund for Victims of Crime. This change could provide the Fund with an additional $ 4 billion to $ 7 billion in non-taxpayer dollars.
- Increase the percentage of federal reimbursement to state compensation programs from 60 percent to 75 percent.
- Allow states to request extensions of VOCA Assistance grants at no cost.
- Allow states to waive subrecipient matching requirements for VOCA Assistance grants.
- Provide additional flexibility to state victim compensation programs to provide compensation to victims.
Many victims of crime groups in Mississippi support the legislation, including the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi, Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Angel Wings Out-Reach Center of Mendenhall, Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence of Biloxi, House of Grace Domestic Violence Shelter of Southaven, Natchez Children’s Services; Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention of Hattiesburg, Southwest Mississippi Children’s Advocacy Center of McComb et al.