Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur today announced $1,047,593 in Department of Justice grants to Howard County to assist human trafficking victims in Maryland. The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, are part of almost $1.8 billion distributed to state victim assistance and compensation programs to fund thousands of local victim assistance programs across the country and to provide millions in compensation to victims of crime.
The Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, administers a flagship formula grant program supported by the Crime Victims Fund (the Fund), which was established under The Victims of Crime Act. The Fund supports a broad array of programs and services that focus on helping victims in the immediate aftermath of crime and continuing to support them as they rebuild their lives. In FY 2019 alone, VOCA grants served over seven million victims and paid more than $399 million in compensation claims.
“Advocates, service providers, and law enforcement agencies from around the country stand ready to help crime victims exercise their legal rights and reclaim their lives,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “These new funding resources continue this administration’s unprecedented commitment to providing the support necessary for victims of crimes to be able to heal and recover.”
“I am so pleased that Howard County has received funds to support their collaborative task force to end human trafficking and to provide services to victims of this terrible crime,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Through these local task forces, as well as the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, local, state, and federal law enforcement partners are working with non-profit organizations to help human trafficking victims and prosecute the traffickers. Working to end human trafficking is a priority for the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
The awards made to organizations in Maryland and other states will support local direct victim service programs, including children’s advocacy centers, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, human trafficking and elder abuse programs, civil legal services, crime victims’ rights enforcement, as well as victim assistance positions in prosecutors’ offices and law enforcement departments.
State victim compensation programs will receive over $133 million to supplement the state funds that offset victims’ financial burdens resulting from the crime. This compensation is often extremely vital to victims who face enormous financial setbacks from medical fees, lost income, dependent care, funeral expenses, and other costs.
“The services made available by this funding represent a lifeline for tens of thousands of survivors each month, many of whom otherwise would have no place to turn in a moment of profound crisis,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs. “These awards will help service providers, as well as law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices, respond to the many emotional and material challenges that crime victims in our country face every day.”
The Fund is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders and does not include tax dollars. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.