Crime Victims Fund
VOCA Faces Critical Cuts
The Administration has released its requested FY 2014 spending proposals. The proposal asks to increase the VOCA cap to $800 million (from the 2013 cap of $730 million). $71 million of the increase would be used for specific initiatives:
- $25 million for supplemental victims' services and other victim-related programs and initiatives,
- $20 million for tribal assistance for victims of violence,
- $10 million for victims of trafficking grants focused on domestic victims
- up to 2 percent ($16 million) for research, evaluation or statistical purposes related to crime victims and related programs.
- The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is projecting that sequestration in 2014 for mandatory, direct spending programs would result in a 7.3 percent reduction, or $58 million for the Crime Victims Fund (based on the proposed $800 million cap).
- The Administration is projecting that $60 million will be taken from the Crime Victims Fund for DOJ management and administrative costs, further reducing the amount available for the core VOCA-authorized programs.
Taken together, these costs (sequestration, new set asides and M&A), effectively reduces the proposed $800 million VOCA cap to $611 million for the core VOCA-authorized programs.
Funding Cuts Jeopardize Services to Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual AssaultAccording to the Campaign for Funding to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, at least 106,020 fewer victims will receive critical assistance services because of the the 5 percent sequestration cut in federal funding (other than VOCA) for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.
- Impact of Sequestration Cuts
- Impact of Sequestration Cuts on DOJ grant programs
- Impact on HHS funding
Impact of Funding Cuts on Sexual Assault Services
A 2012 survey by the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) of rape crisis centers revealed that:
• 60% of programs have a waiting list for counseling and 30% for support groups.
• 50% of programs reduced staff in the past year. Over 100 advocates were laid off while 120 positions were left vacant.
• 25% of programs have 1 FTE or fewer to provide direct services.
Impact of Federal Cuts for Criminal Justice ProgramsNational Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) recently reported on its survey of criminal justice practitioners and the possibility of sequestration. It’s major finding is that federal support for criminal justice programs through DOJ funding has decreased by 43 percent over the past two years. [Full Report] Although most responses to the survey were from law enforcement agencies, the survey also included victim assistance funding. Of the 564 respondents who answered this question, 151 checked “victim services” and 105 respondents said they had received a Victims of Crime Act grant in the past three years. Here is an item on the survey from The Crime Report:
Justice Erodes At Grass Roots As Federal Aid Wanes
Failure to resolve the looming budget crisis in Washington could devastate an already strained criminal justice system, suggests a new report from the National Criminal Justice Association and the Vera Institute of Justice. The report, based on a national survey of government and private organizations that got 714 responses, found that U.S. Department of Justice funding to criminal justice agencies and nonprofit service providers has dropped by 43 per cent in the last two years under the impact of the recession. The survey's sponsors don't contend that the survey is scientifically representative, but that it illustrates funding issues being experienced on a state and local level. About 14 per cent of the respondents said the amounts of their grants had been cut by more than half
The report, issued yesterday [10/11/12], also noted widespread fears among agencies and groups on the front lines of the justice system, including police, that cuts in federal domestic discretionary spending which would kick in if Congress fails to agree on a deficit reduction plan before the end of the year could virtually end federal justice funding by 2021. The survey made clear that federal funding for state and local anti-crime efforts is already "at a historically low level," the criminal justice association and Vera said. More than three-quarters of the agencies and providers reported their level of federal aid has been steadily declining. Many have reduced their workforces, blaming the cuts in part on the funding decline. Among the major programs involved are Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners, various federal juvenile delinquency prevention initiatives, and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Recent data from the Office for Victims of Crime indicate a significant eroison in the number of vulnerable crime victims receiving VOCA-funded services. According to state reports, more than 92,500 fewer vulnerable victims of crime received VOCA-funded services in 2011 compared to 2010. Furthermore, as shown below, 380,000 fewer vulnerable crime victims received VOCA-funded services in 2011 than in 2007:
|Adult Sexual Assault||237,047||204,881||-32,166|
|Adults Molested as Children||92,946||57,359||-35,587|
|Child PHysical Abuse||182,298||169,024||-13,274|
|Child Sexual Abuse||406,820||379,971||-26,849|
|Survivors of Homicide Victims||115,813||79,285||-36,528|
Cornerstone for Justice: Byrne JAG and its Impact on the Criminal Justice System. This report, issued by the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), is a primer on the criminal justice system as seen through the lens of the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program. It describes current innovations in the various segments of the criminal justice system and Byrne JAG's role in spurring those practices. Each section contains statistics and innovative program examples from the states.
NNEDV 2012 CensusThe National Network to End Domestic Violence is excited to share the results of the Domestic Violence Counts 2012, a 24 hour census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services. For the full 2012 report and state summaries please go to www.nnedv.org/census
IN JUST ONE DAY:
- Assisted 64,324 domestic violence victims were served through shelter, transitional housing, and advocacy.
- 35,323 victims were provided with safe shelter.
- 29,001 adults and children received non-residential assistance, such as counseling, legal advocacy and support groups.
- Answered 20,821 hotline calls, over 14 calls every minute.
- Trained 25,182 attendees at 1,162 community education sessions.
Unfortunately, 10,471 requests for services went unmet because of a lack of resources or staffing. On the survey day, 42 percent reported they were unable to provide requested services because of inadequate funding; 30 percent reported they did not have enought staff and 26 percent said no beds were available in their shelter or had money for a hotel stay
From 2006 to 2012, the annual number of adults and children served through domestic violence programs have increased by 34 percent; however, the number of unmet requests for services have increased by 103 percent -- more than doubled! This demonstrates that the capacity to provide these critical services has not kept pace with the needs.
For more information, including the full report with compelling quotes from advocates, state-by-state data summaries, and additional resources, go to www.nnedv.org/census.