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North Carolina could lose half of funds for victims services if Congress doesn't act

Courtesy NCDOJ and Attorney General's Office

The North Carolina Attorney General is calling on Congress to spend more on a fund that compensates those affected by crime.

The federal Crime Victims (VOCA) Fund was created in 1984 and is the primary financial source for victim services

The VOCA Fund supports medical care, mental health counseling, lost wages, courtroom advocacy, and temporary housing for victims and survivors of crime. It also helps to fund federal, state, and tribal victims service programs, crime victim compensation, discretionary grant awards, victim specialists in U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the federal victim notification system. 2024 VOCA funding for crime victims service programs is anticipated to be 41% lower nationwide when compared to 2023 grant awards.

Attorney General Josh Stein says the amount received by North Carolina is expected to be cut by nearly half this year, from $42 million to $23 million.

“We need Congress to step up and fund these programs to help victims of crime and keep our communities safe,” Stein said. “Without these federal dollars, thousands of North Carolinians are left with no way to get to safety and rebuild their lives. We cannot leave some of our most vulnerable people without these critical resources.”

If Congress doesn't approve more funding, he says some services will have to be cut.

Ryan is an Arkansas native and podcast junkie. He was first introduced to public radio during an internship with his hometown NPR station, KUAF. Ryan is a graduate of Tufts University in Somerville, Mass., where he studied political science and led the Tufts Daily, the nation’s smallest independent daily college newspaper. In his spare time, Ryan likes to embroider, attend musicals, and spend time with his fiancée.