DOJ – VOCA Victim Assistance Formula Grant Program (2015)

Applications Due: July 2, 2015, 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

This is a block grant, open only for states and territories. You do not apply to the federal government, but to your individual state’s grant administering agency. Contact your state administrator to apply. 


Under this solicitation, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will award each eligible state victim assistance program an annual grant to support eligible crime victim assistance programs in that state or territory. Eligible crime victim assistance programs are those that “are operated by a public agency or nonprofit organization, or a combination of such agencies or organizations or of both such agencies and organizations, and provide services to victims of crime,” and that meet the other requirements set out in 42 U.S.C. § 10603 (b)(1). Services generally include those efforts that (1) respond to the emotional and physical needs of crime victims; (2) help primary and secondary victims of crime to stabilize their lives after a victimization; (3) help victims to understand and participate in the criminal justice system; and (4) provide victims of crime with a measure of safety and security, such as boarding up broken windows and replacing and repairing locks. This grant is funded through the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, Public Law 98-473, 42 U.S.C. §§ 10603(a) and (b).

This year, there was a substantial increase in the Federal Fiscal Year 2015 Crime Victims Fund appropriation level to $2.361 billion.

This increased funding provides an opportunity to address long-standing challenges to reach and serve all crime victims, address concerns in the field about staffing, and allow states and territories to fund programs that otherwise would not receive funding. States and territories will also receive an increase in administrative funds which offers an opportunity to revise state and territory data collection technology to comply with OVC’s updated data collection and performance measurement requirements.

Funding Title: OVC FY 2015 VOCA Victim Assistance Formula

Agency Name: Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crimes

Funding Instrument Type: Grant

Express Language for Legal Aid: Yes. The existing VOCA Victim Assistance Program Guidelines that were published in the Federal Register on April 22, 1997, at 62 FR 19607, provide under IV.E.1.a, “Immediate Heath and Safety”:

“Also allowable is emergency legal assistance such as filing restraining orders and obtaining emergency custody/visitation rights when such actions are directly connected to family violence cases and are taken to ensure the health and safety of the victim”.

Further, “In addition to the cost of emergency legal services noted above in section a. ‘‘Immediate Health and Safety’’, there are other costs associated with helping victims participate in the criminal justice system that also are allowable. These services may include advocacy on behalf of crime victims; accompaniment to criminal justice offices and court; transportation to court; child care or respite care to enable a victim to attend court; notification of victims regarding trial dates, case disposition information, and parole consideration procedures; and assistance with victim impact statements. State grantees may also fund projects devoted to restitution advocacy on behalf of specific crime victims. VOCA funds cannot be used to pay for non-emergency legal representation such as for divorces, or civil restitution recovery efforts.. IV.E.1.c of the Guidelines.

Also see this language in the grant solicititation:

“OVC is in the process of issuing a final rule for VOCA Assistance after receiving and analyzing over 100 public comments on the proposed revision, which was published in late 2013. Once OJP completes its review of the draft final rule, there will be further review by DOJ and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before it is published and goes into effect. OVC anticipates that the final rule will provide more clarity and allow more flexibility in the programs states and territories are able to support, such as expanded forms of legal assistance and services to incarcerated victims, as well as VOCA-funded projects to support transitional housing.” [Emphasis added]

Target Population: Crime victims

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No

How to Apply:  Applicants apply to their states, not the federal government. To see your grant administrator’s contact information, check the DOJ OVC website.

Current Closing Date for Applications for States:   July 2, 2015, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time

Estimated Total Program Funding: $2.361 Billion      

Eligible Applicants: States and territories. Eligible applicants are limited to state agencies designated by the chief executive to administer VOCA Victim Assistance Formula Grants

Policy and Regulations on Use of Funds:   See solicitation

Current/Past Funding Recipients:      2014   2013

Link to Full Announcement:    Here

Categories: Children, Consumer, Department of Justice, Disability, Disaster Victims, Domestic Violence, Elderly, Employment, Express Language for Legal Aid, Family, Government Organizations, Human Trafficking, Individuals with Disabilities, Migrants/Immigrants, Native Americans, Pass-Through Funds/ Block Grants, Reentry, Subgrant Possibilities, Victims of Crime

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