Hawaii Attorney General urges Congress to expand funding for crime victims

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HONOLULU (KHON2) —  In a letter to Congress today, Hawaii State Attorney General Clare E. Connors along with a coalition of attorney generals representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories urged lawmakers to adopt key changes to the Victims of Crime Act, legislation aimed at providing critical financial support to victims of violent crimes and their families.

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In the letter, the Attorney Generals called for the implementation of three major changes in efforts to promote the sustainability of the Fund:

  • Redirect fines and fees from corporate deferred and non-prosecution agreements to the Fund: The Attorney Generals shared that the Department of Justice uses deferred and non-prosecution agreements to resolve corporate misconduct. The proposal would make it so that those deposits are redirected to the Fund.
  • Increase the rate of federal reimbursement to states for victim compensation programs: The letter recommends Congress reimburse state programs at a rate of 75 percent.
  • Extend the amount of time Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds can be spent: VOCA requires recipients to spend grants within a four-year period. The coalition asked Congress to extend the period of funding so that state and local organizations can better plan and predict funding for long-term services.

“VOCA is critical to our state’s ability to provide services to victims of crime,” said Attorney General Connors. “The three recommendations are sensible and economically necessary, especially as local governments grapple with the fiscal impacts of the COVID pandemic.”

A copy of the letter is available here. 

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