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Attorney General Josh Stein Calls on Congress to Increase Funding for Crime Victims

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today joined a bipartisan coalition of 42 attorneys general urging the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to authorize much-needed 2024 bridge funding for the federal Crime Victims Fund (the “VOCA Fund.”) The VOCA Fund supports essential direct services for crime victims and survivors across the country. Without prompt action by Congress, many victims service programs across the country may be forced to close.

“We need Congress to step up and fund these programs to help victims of crime and keep our communities safe,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Without these federal dollars, thousands of North Carolinians are left with no way to get to safety and rebuild their lives. We cannot leave some of our most vulnerable people without these critical resources.”

The VOCA Fund was established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, and it is the primary financial source for victims services in all 50 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.

The VOCA Fund supports medical care, mental health counseling, lost wages, courtroom advocacy, and temporary housing for victims and survivors of crime. It also helps to fund federal, state, and tribal victims service programs, crime victim compensation, discretionary grant awards, victim specialists in U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the federal victim notification system. 2024 VOCA funding for crime victims service programs is anticipated to be 41 percent lower nationwide when compared to 2023 grant awards.

In North Carolina, VOCA funds are administered by the Governor’s Crime Commission. 2024 North Carolina funding is projected to be $23 million, down from $42 million in 2023 and a high of $103 million in 2018. Attorney General Stein also wrote to the North Carolina Congressional delegation about the importance of investing in crime victims services in September 2023.

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending this letter by the Attorneys General of Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.

A copy of the letter Is available here.