TALLAHASSEE – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – Attorney Gen…

TALLAHASSEE – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – Attorney General Charlie Crist today announced that his office has awarded more than $24.3 million for grants to private and public agencies to help crime victims throughout Florida. The funds, provided through the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), will provide direct services to help victims stabilize their lives.

VOCA grants are issued annually, and the latest round of awards will assist victims in each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits, as well as participants in several statewide initiatives.

“Too often, innocent crime victims have nowhere else to turn for help. These grants can provide a lifeline for those who, through no fault of their own, have become the victim of crime,” said Crist. “I am pleased that we can offer hope and comfort to victims in their time of need.”

The Attorney General’s Office has already awarded 232 grants totaling $23,963,693, and another $355,218 has been obligated to other programs and will soon be formally awarded. Grants range from a high of $615,868 to the Florida Department of Health for services to child abuse victims statewide to a low of $16,793 to the Pembroke Pines Police Department. When all awards have been finalized, the statewide total will be $24,318,911.

The Victims of Crime Act grants will be used for a wide variety of programs for victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, drunk driving, murder and other crimes. The grants will fund such activities as domestic violence centers, abuse shelters, sexual assault and child abuse programs and family counseling services. Many of the grants will be used by law enforcement agencies and state attorney’s offices to operate local victim services programs.

The Attorney General’s Office administers the grants for the state.
The Victims of Crime Act was enacted in 1984 to provide federal funding to assist state, local and private nonprofit agencies in providing direct services to crime victims. The U.S. Department of Justice provides VOCA money to the states, derived from fines, penalty assessments and bond forfeitures from convicted federal offenders.

Since its inception more than two decades ago, VOCA has provided $218,148,000 to Florida for victim assistance and another $87,446,000 for crime compensation, bringing the state a total of $305,594,000 to help victims of crime. Since January 2003, Florida has awarded 938 grants totaling more than $78 million to organizations that work to improve the lives of crime victims.

A county-by-county listing of this year’s VOCA grant recipients is available at:
http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MRAY-6RZSP9/$file/VOCA_list.pdf

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