Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin today announced that the West Virginia Crime Victims Compensation Fund will receive $1,191,000 in federal funding to help them to continue providing financial assistance to victims of Federal and State crimes.
"Helping our neighbors when they are in need is at the core of every West Virginian," said Rockefeller. "Victims suffer not only physically and emotionally, but also financially as a result of violent crimes, and this funding is an important way to help them rebuild their lives."
"The people of West Virginia have always come together to help our neighbors in need, especially those who are crime victims," Senator Manchin said. "While we can never go back in time, we can try to prevent crime and help make victims financially whole. It makes commonsense that criminal fines would go to helping victims and their families get back on their feet and move forward from the unspeakable tragedies that they endured."
The federal funding was made available through the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs. The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) formula grants for crime victim compensation are awarded to every state, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. These VOCA grants help states reimburse victims for expenses resulting from crimes. This funding is not provided through taxpayer dollars, but instead comes from criminal fines, forfeited bonds, penalties and special assessments collected by U.S. Attorneys, federal courts, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In 2011, the state of West Virginia served nearly 40,000 crime victims and spent more than $2.9 million in compensation to victims.