Poll: Will a new Act prevent lawmakers from spending money designated for crime victims on unrelated federal projects?
Money collected by the federal government — penalties and fees from those who commit crimes — is not being used for its intended purpose, Republican Congressman Scott Perry (PA-4) said. Perry, a member of the House Victim Rights Caucus, held a press conference today in York City to explain that the approval of the Fairness for Crime Victims Act would help to protect those funds and allocate them to their proper designation.
Congress created the Crime Victims Fund in 1984, based on a simple idea: money the government collects from those who commit crimes should be used to help those who were victimized by crime. No taxpayers’ money is used to support the fund.
A statement released by Perry’s office explained, from 2010 to 2014, the Crime Victims Fund collected $12 billion, but gave crime victims only $3.6 billion, or 30 percent. Congress, he said, used the $8.4 billion difference for other spending. The Act would essentially return the fund to disbursing what it brings in and thereby increase funding for crime victims.
If adopted, Perry claims, payments from the fund would rise millions of dollars. That money, he said, would be disbursed by the U.S. Department of Justice to states’ victims’ service groups, such as Child Advocacy Centers, domestic violence shelters, and rape crisis centers, to support victim compensation and assistance programs.
Perry has voted for legislation to support sexual assault victims and to give local law enforcement the tools they need to assist victims of crime. These efforts included, increased funding for programs aimed at preventing sexual assault and helping survivors find justice.
Will a new Act prevent lawmakers from spending money designated for crime victims on unrelated federal projects?