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In Support of the Victims of Crime Act Fund

Location: Washington, DC

IN SUPPORT OF THE VICTIMS OF CRIME ACT FUND -- (Extensions of Remarks - April 18, 2005)

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2005

Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, too often the dignity and respect that crime victims deserve are lost in the system, a system that is supposed to ensure justice for all.

Last October Congress passed and the President signed into law the Justice For All Act which brought some justice back to victims through an established and enforceable set of rights, including the right to be present during proceedings, the right to confront assailants in proceedings, and the right to be notified about the release or escape of the perpetrator from custody.

If these funds are diverted from the Victims of Crime Act Fund, crime victims will suffer again.

The Victims of Crime Act Fund, VOCA, was established by Congress in 1984 as a way to ensure the continued support and protection for the victims of crime. It is funded through fines, forfeitures, and fees assessed against criminal defendants and is directed toward states where it is used to provide services to those organizations that serve crime victims. It is not funded through general tax revenue.

In my own district in Cincinnati the organization ProKids is one such organization that benefits from VOCA funding. ProKids trains special court appointed advocates to serve as a voice for children who have been abused or neglected. VOCA funds provide a substantial portion of the organization's operating budget, without which the protection that ProKids provides to children will end.

We cannot continue to deny those who suffer most from crime. I urge my colleagues to oppose using these funds for any purpose other than for which Congress intended.

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