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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Tuesday - May 27, 2003

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS $12,410,000 TO NORTH CAROLINA
TO SUPPORT CRIME VICTIMS

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that North Carolina has been awarded $9,767,000.00 in victim assistance funds and $2,643,000.00 in victim compensation funds, through the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). He said these funds will provide support and services to thousands of victims throughout the state.

"Since the Crime Victims Fund was established in 1986, crime victims across North Carolina have received services and economic assistance," said OJP Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels. "The Justice Department is pleased to support both the collection efforts for the Crime Victims Fund, which provides these program dollars, and the allocation of these resources to help North Carolina's crime victims."

North Carolina uses its crime victim assistance funds to support statewide and local initiatives, including domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, child abuse victims programs, and other initiatives that provide counseling, advocacy, or emergency transportation to victims. North Carolina can also use these funds for innovative efforts such as sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs or victim service units in law enforcement agencies, prosecutors' offices, and social service agencies.

North Carolina's compensation program receives annual grants equal to 60 percent of its total payout to crime victims in a previous year. Compensation programs work similarly to private insurance, providing reimbursement to, or on behalf of, crime victims for expenses such as medical costs, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, and lost wages, as a result of being a crime victim.

"These grants play a critical role in aiding crime victims in North Carolina, be it through direct victim support or through community-based efforts that provide care and comfort," said OVC Director John W. Gillis.

Money for these annual awards comes from the Crime Victims Fund--which is supported primarily by fines paid by federal criminal offenders--not taxpayers. These fines are collected by United States Attorneys, the U. S. Courts, and the Bureau of Prisons. Fines collected in one year are deposited into the Fund and are available for grant awards the following year. The USA Patriot Act of 2001 allowed private gifts, donations, and bequests to the Crime Victims Fund.

Over 90 percent of Fund deposits are distributed annually by OVC to states and territories to support state victim compensation and victim assistance programs. Remaining funds are used for training and technical assistance, national demonstration projects, and to improve handling of child abuse cases in Indian communities. In addition, these funds support victim-witness coordinator and advocate positions for U. S. Attorneys' Offices, victim specialist positions in the FBI, and a federal victim notification system. OJP's Office for Victims of Crime is committed to enhancing the nation's capacity to assist crime victims and providing leadership in changing policies and practices to promote justice and healing for crime victims.

More information on victim assistance and victim assistance efforts in North Carolina is available from the Governor's Crime Commission, Department of Crime Control & Public Safety, at 919/733-4564.

Media should contact OJP's Office of Communications (Adam Spector) at 202-307-0703.

The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises 5 component bureaus and 2 offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice

Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Executive Office for Weed and Seed, and the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education. Information about OJP programs, publications, and conferences is available on the OJP Web site, www.ojp.usdoj.gov.

 

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney's web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

 

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