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Crime Victims Fund: A Primer for Youth Justice Advocates

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2016
7 pages
This fact sheet provides youth justice advocates with a basic primer on how the Federal Victims of Crime Fund operates and how it might move some of the increased resources of this fund to communities that have historically lacked these services, although they have had the greatest need for them.
The Crime Victims Fund was established by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984. The fund is financed by annual deposits of fines and penalties paid by those convicted of Federal offenses. No taxes support the Crime Victims Fund. As of September 2013, the fund balance has reached almost $9 billion. When it was established, Congress capped the portion of funds that could be made available each year for distribution to people harmed by crime, so as to ensure the fund would not be exhausted; however, given the significant increase in the Fund's assets in the past several years, Congress acted to lift the cap. Through the Fund, VOCA provides States with several streams of support for crime victims, including compensation for crime victims and expanded victim services. This fact sheet also describes how the money is distributed, what States have been doing with the additional dollars from the Fund, changes to the VOCA guidelines, and program ideas for youth justice advocates in terms of juvenile crime victims. Information resources are listed.