Programs Helping Victims of Crime May See Cut in Funding

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- As part of negotiations that took place in order to avoid a government shut down, Congress agreed to dip into special funding from the Victims of Crimes Act, or VOCA.

The funding is not taxpayer money, but criminal fines collected through the federal court system as punishment for being convicted of violating the law.

The money is normally used for programs and support services that help victims, but with the government taking some means less money for its normal recipients like Piedmont CASA, which says it already has 42 children on a waiting list for help.

"When the pendulum is swinging and there are more and more kids who are in need, now is not the time to jeopardize the programs that are providing a really essential service," said Alicia Lenahan, the president of Piedmont CASA.

Along with CASA, Ready Kids, SARA and Foothills Child Advocacy Center also receive VOCA funding. Congress plans to cut the VOCA funding by $1.5 billion.

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