March 27, 2006

Crapo Says VOCA Dollars Working on the Ground in Idaho

Announces that Idaho crime victims receive $907,000 grant

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo announced today that nearly $1 million will be available to Idahoans under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) for victim compensation funds. The funding comes from the Justice Department's Fiscal Year 2006 budget and will be administered by the Idaho Industrial Commission. Crapo has long advocated for continued federal funding for crime victims, who are often compensated through the fund paid in part by perpetrators of crime.â??Violent crimes like child abuse, assaults, and rape happen too often in Idaho. Itâ??s our responsibility as neighbors and community members not only to assist those who fall prey to this horrific violence, but raise awareness and promote prevention of these crimes as well,â?? Crapo said. â??VOCA dollars are established to assist victims of crime and should be maintained for their intended purpose.â?? Crapo and others in Congress have defeated efforts to pare back or reassign dollars now contained in a trust fund arrangement for victims of crime.George Gutierrez of the Idaho Crime Victims Compensation Program said, â??We have seen about 2,000 new cases each year. We now have about 12,000 crime victims who have benefited from VOCA funding. Victims of crime and their families receive compensation for mental or medical care, loss of wages, and some benefits go to the children of deceased parents who are victims of crime. We pay out $2.2 million a year and, this year, $907,000 will be covered by these federal payments.â??Community advocacy groups around Idaho also benefit from VOCA dollars distributed through the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance.Crapo has been active at the federal level to stop efforts by budget writers to remove money in the Crime Victims Fund so it could be used as general revenue. â??More than 4400 agencies, including many women and children in Idaho, benefit from this fund authorized under VOCA,â?? Crapo said.FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://src.senate.gov in the Radio Links.