November 03, 2011

CARDIN ANNOUNCES $7 MILLION IN GRANTS TO HELP VICTIMS OF CRIME

63 Agencies Serving 23 Jurisdictions Receive Federal Crime Victim Grants

ANNAPOLIS—U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, D-MD, today joined Governor Martin O’Malley to announce that the U.S. Justice Department is awarding $7,623,460 in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding to help provide services for victims of violent crime in Maryland. The funds will be distributed by the Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP) to local programs and agencies.

This funding supports programs that improve the treatment of victims of by providing them with such services as crisis intervention, counseling, temporary housing, emergency transportation to court, and criminal justice support and advocacy.

“Victims of domestic violence must know they can seek help and communities must stand ready to offer their support,” said Senator Ben Cardin.  “This funding will help communities across Maryland provide victims of violent crime with the resources and support they need to get back on their feet with dignity and strength.” 

“The most important responsibilities we have in government are to create jobs and to protect the public’s safety,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “In living up to our commitment to public safety, we are committed to assisting all crime victims in the state. The O’Malley-Brown Administration will ensure that all victims in Maryland are treated with dignity and respect; that their rights are upheld; and that funds are available to provide assistance and support.”

Organizations receiving VOCA grants are either public entities or nonprofits that provide direct services to crime victims.  They include sexual assault and rape treatment centers, domestic violence programs and shelters, child abuse programs, mental health services, programs for underserved victims, community-based victim coalitions, and criminal justice agencies that have components which offer services to crime victims.  Hospitals and emergency medical facilities that offer crisis counseling, forensic examinations and other victim services are also eligible for VOCA grants.  Criminal justice agencies that receive VOCA grants use the funds for victims' services that include victim crisis units, victim advocates, victim registration and notification, and victim-witness programs.

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