A bipartisan coalition of 41 attorneys general, including Virginia’s Jason Miyares, are calling on Congress to increase funding for the Crime Victims Fund.
The Crime Victims Fund is a federal program that provides financial assistance to crime victims and survivors across the country. The funding for the program is projected to decrease by 41% in 2024, when compared with 2023, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In a letter to House and Senate leaders, the attorneys general wrote that the federal government must ensure that the Crime Victims Fund remains fully funded in order to continue providing essential services to crime victims and survivors. These services include medical care, mental health counseling, lost wages, courtroom advocacy and temporary housing.
Without action from Congress, many victim service programs across the country may be forced to close, which the attorneys general said would severely limit the ability of crime victims and survivors to access the resources and support that they need.
“These burdens are likely to fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable victims, including members of rural, underserved, or impoverished communities,” they wrote. “As victims are often also witnesses to the crimes against them, moreover, the lack of services and support for them may impact our states’ abilities to hold offenders accountable and thereby undermine public safety.”