Department of Justice Awards $4.8 Million to Nevada Crime Victims
Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, and Tracy A. Henke, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (OJP), are pleased to announce that Nevada has been awarded $4,811,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice 2004 Crime Victims Fund for state victim compensation and assistance programs. Victim assistance funds in the amount of $3,126,000, and victim compensation funds in the amount of $1,685,000, have been awarded to the State of Nevada Departments of Human Resources and Administration to provide support and services to thousands of victims throughout the state.
Since the Crime Victims Fund was established in 1986, crime victims across Nevada have received services and economic assistance totaling $37,864,000, said U.S. Attorney Bogden. "The United States Attorney's Office 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 Nevada's crime victims."
Crime victim assistance funds are competitively awarded by the State to local community-based organizations that provide direct services to crime victims. Funding is provided to domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, child abuse victims programs and other initiatives that provide counseling, advocacy or emergency transportation to victims. Nevada can also use these funds for sexual assault programs or victim service units in law enforcement agencies, prosecutors offices and social service agencies.
Nevada'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.
The Crime Victims Fund is supported primarily by fines paid by federal criminal offenders – not taxpayers. These fines are collected by United States Attorneys Offices, the United States Courts, and the Federal 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 also allowed private gifts, donations and bequests to the Crime Victims Fund. Over 90 percent of Fund deposits are distributed annually by the Department of Justice 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. Attorney Offices, victim specialist positions in the FBI and a federal victim notification system.
More information on Nevada's victim compensation and victim assistance efforts is available from the State of Nevada Department of Administration at (702) 486-2546, or the State of Nevada Department of Human Resources, Division of Child and Family Services, at (775) 684-4449. Questions may also be directed to OJP's Office of Communications at (202) 307-0703.