BILLINGS – U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme today announced $6,243,585 in Department of Justice grants to assist victims in Montana. The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, are part of almost $1.8 billion distributed to state victim assistance and compensation programs to fund thousands of local victim assistance programs across the country and to provide millions in compensation to victims of crime.
The Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, flagship formula grant program is supported by the Crime Victims Fund (the Fund), which was established under The Victims of Crime Act. The Fund supports a broad array of programs and services that focus on helping victims in the immediate aftermath of crime and continuing to support them as they rebuild their lives. In FY 2019 alone, VOCA grants served over seven million victims and paid more than $399 million in compensation claims.
“Advocates, service providers, and law enforcement agencies from around the country stand ready to help crime victims exercise their legal rights and reclaim their lives,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “These new funding resources continue this administration’s unprecedented commitment to providing the support necessary for victims of crimes to be able to heal and recover.”
The awards made to organizations in Montana will support local direct victim 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 assistance positions in prosecutors’ offices and law enforcement departments.
“These funds support important organizations in Montana providing critical protection and assistance to crime victims. They will also be used to lessen the financial losses experienced by victims. We are pleased these funds are coming to help Montana victims,” U.S. Attorney Alme said.
The awards to Montana include the Montana Board of Crime Control, $5,785,585, for Victim Assistance; and the Montana Department of Justice, $458,000, for Victim Compensation.
State victim compensation programs will receive over $133 million to supplement the state funds that offset victims’ financial burdens resulting from crime. This compensation is often extremely vital to victims who face enormous financial setbacks from medical fees, lost income, dependent care, funeral expenses and other costs.
“The services made available by this funding represent a lifeline for tens of thousands of survivors each month, many of whom otherwise would have no place to turn in a moment of profound crisis,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs. “These awards will help service providers, as well as law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices respond to the many emotional and material challenges that crime victims in our country face every day.”
The Fund is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders and does not include tax dollars. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.
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