In 1984, Congress created the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and the Crime Victims Fund, which provides funds to organizations, like MADD, for victim assistance and compensation programs that offer support and services to those affected by violent crimes. Because the Crime Victims Fund comes entirely from criminal fines and other penalties, spending from the Fund does not add to the national debt or deficit and does not hurt taxpayers.
MADD relies on VOCA funds to help serve drunk driving victims in many states. Last year, MADD served over 60,000 drunk and drugged driving victims at no charge—one person every nine minutes. Although we are proud that drunk driving has been cut in half in the 30 years since our founding, there are still over 10,000 people killed and 350,000 injured each year due to this violent crime. VOCA funding is critical to help us achieve our mission of serving victims of drunk driving.
In the Administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2013 budget, the VOCA cap would be increased from $705 million to $1.07 billion—BUT, $365 million would then be transferred out of the Crime Victims Fund and reallocated to support other programs, rather than using that money to help victims. If this happens, it means that VOCA funds will not be safe in the future and any time Congress needs to fund a program, it could come at the expense of helping victims.
MADD encourages Congress to raise the VOCA cap to $1 billion per year to help victims of crime, but not to raid this money to pay for other programs.
Assisting crime victims is a critical service and VOCA provides a reasonable, fair, and cost effective way to assist Americans in their hour of need. Please help us protect VOCA funding by contacting your lawmakers today.