Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Free Legal Encyclopedia: Vest to Water Rights

Victims of Crime Act of (1984)

compensation fund program programs

The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) was an attempt by the federal government to help the victims of criminal actions through means other than punishment of the criminal. It created a federal victims-compensation account funded by fines assessed in federal criminal convictions, and it established provisions to assist state programs that compensated the victims of crimes. The compensation system is still in existence, having distributed over $1 billion in funds since it began.

The statute, codified at 42 U.S.C.A. § 10601, was a direct result of a task force set up by the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT under the auspices of President RONALD REAGAN. Called the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime, the report issued by the task force in 1982 was harshly critical of existing victims-compensation programs. "In many states, program availability is not advertised for fear of depleting available resources or overtaxing a numerically inadequate staff. Victim claims might have to wait months until sufficient fines have been collected or until a new fiscal year begins and the budgetary fund is replenished," according to the report.

VOCA established the Crime Victim's Fund, which is supported by all fines that are collected from persons who have been convicted of offenses against the United States, except for fines that are collected through certain environmental statues and other fines that are specifically designated for certain accounts, such as the Postal Service Fund. The fund also includes special assessments collected for various federal crimes under 18 USC § 3613, the proceeds of forfeited appearance bonds, bail bonds, and collateral collected, any money ordered to be paid into the fund under section 3671(c)(2) of Title 18; and any gifts, bequests, or donations to the fund from private entities or individuals.

The first $10 million from the fund, plus an added amount depending on how much has been deposited in the fund for that fiscal year, goes to child-abuse prevention and treatment programs. After that, such sums as may be necessary are made available for the U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION to improve services for the benefit of crime victims in the federal criminal justice system, and for a Victim Notification System.

Once those distributions have been made, the fund is distributed to victim-compensation programs in two different ways. One is to eligible victims-compensation programs. The law sets up a number criteria as to whether a program is eligible including: 1) whether it is a program operated by the state that offers compensation to victims and survivors of victims of criminal violence; 2) whether the program promotes victim cooperation with the reasonable requests of law enforcement authorities; 3) whether the state certifies that grants received under this section will not be used to supplant state funds that are otherwise available to provide crime-victim compensation; 4) whether the program makes compensation awards to victims who are nonresidents of the state on the basis of the same criteria that are used to make awards to victims who are residents of such state; 5) and whether the program provides compensation to victims of federal crimes occurring within the state on the same basis that such program provides compensation to victims of state crimes. The program also must not deny compensation to any victim because of that victim's familial relationship to the offender, or because of the sharing of a residence by the victim and the offender, nor may it provide compensation to any person who has been convicted of an offense under federal law with respect to any time period during which the person is delinquent in paying a fine, other monetary penalty, or restitution imposed for the offense.

The other way the fund provides compensation is to give the money directly to the governor of a state for the financial support of eligible crime-victim assistance programs. The governor must certify that priority for money from the fund will be given to eligible crime-victim assistance programs providing assistance to victims of sexual assault, spousal abuse, or CHILD ABUSE; and he must certify that funds will be made available for grants to programs that serve previously underserved populations of victims of violent crimes.

A small percentage of the fund is reserved for demonstration projects, program evaluation, compliance efforts, and training and technical assistance services to eligible crime-victim assistance programs. The fund also has recently expanded to apply to potential victims of TERRORISM and is authorized to set aside $50,000,000 from the amounts transferred to it in response to the SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, TERRORIST ATTACKS as an antiterrorism emergency reserve.


Greer, Desmond S. 1994. "A Transatlantic Perspective on the Compensation of Crime Victims in the United States." Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 85 (Fall).

Roland, David L. 1989. "Progress in the Victim Reform Movement: No Longer the 'Forgotten Victim.'" Pepper-dine Law Review 17 (December).

Victims' Rights [next] [back] Victims of Crime - Right To Sue, Victim Compensation Laws, An Automated Victim Notification System, Victims' Rights Laws

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 7 years ago

I wouldn't believe anything on this page and certainly not the 1984
victims of crime Act. The US government is controlled by the Klan and this race of evil people hunt and kill human people for sport. They attacked the World Trade Center twice and knocked it down the second time. So, if you think that the criminal Federal government is going to compensate you for crimes it commits you should be in a mental ward. America is a Klan empire and we human people are slaves to be used and exterminated__until the human people organize and change the government. The Klan calls it 'treason'__I call it throwing out the Klan and developing a real government that protects human rights and not the Klan empire.
Please look me up on Google or YouTube. I'm a former NASA engineer
who was framed by the Klan at NASA Lewis, Cleveland and then thrown out of America. I have been forced to live on the Klan city streets where I am harassed and tortured by the Klan and told to "bow down" because they are a super race and human people are animals.

From Klan SLO via Klan SAMO,

Wayne E. Manzo, PhD

Vote down Vote up

almost 8 years ago


P.O.BOX 2127, CODE 00202,



Dear sir,

I hereby wish to apply for compensation fund from your organization.

I am a Kenya deaf adult and unemployed.I lost my hearing at infancy due to medical regency's and now physical challenge.

kindly assist me with fund to fund to enable me be empowered financially.

I looking forward to your response.

yours faithfully,

Job s. Malubi

Vote down Vote up

over 8 years ago

Hello, I was repeatedly molested while I slept last spring while underhandedly committed to a state mental hospital by a woman who a female psychiatrist I spoke with told me "has molested thousands of women in eighteen years" and yet, because I was a patient, I was given the runaround, my meds increased to a lethal, toxic degree which destroyed my liver and nearly killed me, sent me into a coma for two months and in that time a woman staff member molested me while changing my depends, but then they finally released me, although denying I had been molested and writing lies galore in my medical records to cover themselves (but I kept detailed logs THREE FOOT TALL of LEGAL PADS the ten months I was locked away on false accusations as a whistleblower on local corruption where I was wrongly evicted secretly and committed so they could steal my evidene against a pedophile ex the DA would not prosecute because he too had molested in his past and was soft on pedophiles), so they cannot get away with lying too much. My question is, I am struggling to overcome the damage done to me via those crimes, all of them, but especially being criminally molested, then almost murdered for making outcries (and against human exploitation galore in other ways against many of us women locked up there that no one would investigate or stop either) and I was wondering WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS? What are my rights to restitution and compensation as well as official apologies and the investigation of my records being doctored with lies to cloak the crimes against me and others as well as to insure such people do not get away with such as, though I was discharged after nearly dying in an outside hospital (because they believed me, when I woke up from the coma, and pressured the state hospital to discharge me immediately) I still care about many women there whom I saw were being victimized also. That woman who had molested thousands also was reportedly going to be sent to live in a nursing home, which was deplorable to me, but then someone told me that was a lie, that she was merely secretively transferred to the prison side of the hospital, but they could not tell me or the other patients or her that and that had I not stood up to them, despite their near fatal treachery and crimes to me then too, that they would have enabled her to go on to molest thousands more women while they slept in their beds too, her being moved from room to room to molest more and more (hoping to get more into prostitution to supply the male patients and male staff with sexual gratification also via making sugar addicts / soda and candy machine addicts out of as many women as possible so they would sell blow jobs and sex to feed their addictions). I therefore want the place investigated as well as compensation for the terrible trauma to me and the stigma that follows me and with people tending to believe such crimes and evil does not go on in such places when it is and when reading the Prison Rape Act showed me this is a plague or sorts in prisons, and yet not a word mentioned about victims of rape in state mental hospitals and yet WE GOT NO LEGAL REPRESENTATION and HORRIFIC CRIMINAL WRONGDOING is therefore going on IN THOSE INSTITUTIONS and there is NO ONE to be a VOICE for us or an ADVOCATE LEGALLY, so it's just our own tough luck? Hello? Please contact me if you have any good news to offer as now I would rather sign a DO NOT RESSUCITATE ORDER to post on file should my ruined liver fail me again than to end up back in such an EVIL DUNGEON of CRIMINAL TREACHERY and the list of neglect and abuse, crimes and wrongs is far longer than just about the rapes of me, but that is the worst, next to the hundreds of lies entered into my records, staff even admitting they are ordered to lie, or get fired, like it or not. Please help or refer me to someone who can. I am a Mass Trauma Victim and have suffered additional crimes since discharge and am just getting to where I can surf online to arm myself with laws and acts and such to enlighten me as to my rights, but I am not able, being disabled and traumatized, to represent myself to get justice, nor insure the other women there get it as well. Thank you. Sincerely, Faye Marie Angel (501) 859-3248