Nessel joins bipartisan group of 41 AGs urging Congress to stabilize funding to support victims of crime

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a bipartisan coalition of 41 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to authorize much-needed 2024 bridge funding for the federal Crime Victims (VOCA) Fund. The VOCA Fund supports the provision of essential direct services for crime victims and survivors across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, fiscal year 2024 projected funding for victim service grants will be $700 million lower than fiscal year 2023.

“Allowing the federal Crime Victims Fund to be so deficiently funded would be a tremendous disservice to victims and survivors who need our support,” Nessel said. “The resources VOCA provides to victims are essential in their healing from the pain and trauma they have experienced. I unreservedly support my colleagues in asking Congress to approve the bridge funding for these crucial services.”

The VOCA Fund was established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, and it is the primary financial source for victim services in all 50 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. VOCA Fund revenue is generated from offenders convicted of crimes, not from taxes.  

In 2021, Congress passed the VOCA Fix Act, which allows monetary recoveries from federal deferred prosecutions and non-prosecution agreements to replenish the fund. While passage of the VOCA Fix Act was necessary, it was not sufficient to adequately shore up fund balances, and 2024 VOCA funding for crime victim service programs is anticipated to be 41% lower nationwide when compared to 2023 grant awards.

Without prompt action by Congress, many victim service programs across the country may be forced to close.

The VOCA Fund supports medical care, mental health counseling, lost wages, courtroom advocacy, and temporary housing for victims and survivors of crime. It also helps to fund federal, state and tribal victim service programs, crime victim compensation, discretionary grant awards, victim specialists in U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the federal victim notification system.  

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Division of Victim Services administers victim assistance grant programs financed by the VOCA Fund.

Joining Nessel in the letter are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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