Several area agencies were awarded federal grants to assist crime victims.
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) awarded $67 million in federal grants to more than 190 public and non-profit entities through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) program.
The funding will be used to provide direct services and assistance to crime victims throughout the state.
Among area grantees:
Shelby County Prosecutor's Office, 16th Judicial Court, $101, 914
The Court and Child Advocacy Group in Shelby County, $44, 230
Hancock Co. Child Advocacy Center, Zoey's Place, $210, 782
Hancock Co. Prosecutor's Office, $104, 074
Rush County Victims Assistance, $65, 061
New Directions of Decatur County, $255, 002
VOCA funding is provided by the Office for Victims of Crime under the U.S. Department of Justice and comes from the fines and restitution paid by convicted federal offenders.
The Victims of Crime Act was established by Congress in 1984 to support state and local programs that assist victims of all kinds of crime including assault, robbery, homicide, driving while intoxicated, fraud, elder abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking and many others. Overall, VOCA funds are designed to help survivors stabilize their lives after a victimization, participate in the justice system and restore a measure of security and safety to their daily lives, along with addressing the physical and emotional trauma of crime.
Over the next two years, these grants will fund a variety of initiatives in Indiana including mental health counseling, transitional housing, crisis intervention, legal aid, and child and youth services. The funding will also be used to support victim advocates, sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) and other victim-focused positions.
This cycle, priority was given to projects that focus on serving marginalized and underserved communities, as well as promote equity and racial justice.
“When it comes to addressing the needs of crime victims, one size does not fit all,” said Kim Lambert, ICJI Victim Services Director. “That’s why funding sources like VOCA are important because they allow organizations, embedded in the community, to create and tailor services to the individual.”
The projects for the 2022-2024 grant cycle were approved by the ICJI Board of Trustees and will be made available to organizations starting in October.