The U.S. attorney for the state of South Carolina – Peter McCoy Jr. – announced the awarding of $33 million in federal grant money for crime victims in the Palmetto State this week. The money is part of a $1.8 billion national appropriation administered by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with the goal of funding “thousands of local victim assistance programs across the country” and providing “millions in compensation to victims of crime.”
“Advocates, service providers, and law enforcement agencies from around the country stand ready to help crime victims exercise their legal rights and reclaim their lives,” said attorney general William P. Barr. “These new funding resources continue this administration’s unprecedented commitment to providing the support necessary for victims of crimes to be able to heal and recover.”
The grants are administered by DOJ’s office of justice programs, which exists to provide “federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems.”
According to the agency, the crime victims’ fund “supports a broad array of programs and services that focus on helping victims in the immediate aftermath of crime and continuing to support them as they rebuild their lives.” During the previous fiscal year, it assisted seven million victims and paid out more than $399 million in compensation claims.
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“It is a top priority of this office to take care of victims,” McCoy said. “These funds help ensure that those who provide direct support to crime victims are able to continue their critical work. Although we can never undo what has happened to victims of criminal activity, we can work with our partners to provide services and compensation for victims to rebuild, refocus, and recover.”
According to McCoy, the funding will go toward “local victim service programs, including children’s advocacy centers, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, human trafficking and elder abuse programs, civil legal services, crime victims’ rights enforcement, as well as victim assistance positions in prosecutors’ offices and law enforcement departments.”
The money that supports the fund comes from fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders.
“The services made available by this funding represent a lifeline for tens of thousands of survivors each month, many of whom otherwise would have no place to turn in a moment of profound crisis,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, a deputy attorney general who oversees the fund. “These awards will help service providers, as well as law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices respond to the many emotional and material challenges that crime victims in our country face every day.”
Crime has been on the rise in the Palmetto State in recent years, and we are told that 2019 data will paint an even grimmer picture.
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