Kentucky has received $37 million in federal grants to support crisis intervention services for victims of crime, and $1,082,985 of that funding is going to local organizations.
In total, 133 Kentucky programs have received funding this year through the federal Victims of Crime Act grant program, known as VOCA.
VOCA funding originates from the federal Crime Victims Fund, which collects funds from criminal fines, forfeitures, special assessments, and gifts or donations and is not reliant on taxpayer money. The grants support programs that provide direct services to victims, including crisis counseling, shelter, therapy and support, and advocacy in the criminal justice system among other efforts.
The Williamsburg Police Department’s victim’s advocate program received $65,000 in funding.
Cumberland River Behavioral Health received $272,492.
The Cumberland Valley Children’s Advocacy Center in London received $350,000.
Cumberland Valley Domestic Violence Services Inc. in London received $187,232.
The Knox County Fiscal Court received $53,800.
The Laurel County Attorney’s Office received $95,580.
CASA of Knox and Laurel Counties received $58,881.
“It is a priority for my administration to support direct services to victims and survivors of all types of crimes – they should have every resource we can provide to them as they walk the path toward healing and recovery,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “This funding is vital to these 133 programs that work tirelessly to respond to the emotional and physical needs of survivors and provide a much-deserved measure of safety and security.”
This year’s VOCA total represents a 511 percent increase over the amount awarded in 2015 – $6.2 million – when only 77 programs received funds.
“The Cabinet’s Grants Management Division focused this year on sustaining and, where possible, expanding direct services to crime victims,” Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Mary Noble said. “Special effort was made to support innovative practices like restorative justice, as well as culturally specific services and expansion of telehealth services in the wake of the novel coronavirus 2019 pandemic.”
Of the total grant funding announced, an estimated $9.5 million will help to provide services to domestic violence and $8 million will go toward services for victims of sexual assault or human trafficking. About $9.2 million will go to Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC), Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs and agencies providing residential care and mental health services for child abuse victims.
An estimated $2.6 million will go to prosecutor-based programs providing advocacy services for victims of crime in jurisdictions around the commonwealth. Funding also will go to programs that serve victims with disabilities, elderly victims and other victims of crime.