The Crime Victims Fund

Gavel and American flagGavel and American flagThe Crime Victims Fund (the Fund), established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, supports services for victims of crime throughout the Nation. Under Congressional mandate, OVC administers the Fund, which is composed primarily of fines, special assessments, and bond forfeitures from convicted federal offenders, making it a self-sufficient source of compensation and assistance that does not rely on Americans’ tax dollars. Each year, the Fund supports thousands of programs with millions of dollars invested in direct services to crime victims. Such services provide compensation and assistance to those who have suffered physical, emotional, and financial harm from victimization.

Main Sources of Revenue

Deposits into the Fund consist of—

  • criminal fines from convicted federal offenders, with exceptions for funds related to certain environmental, railroad, unemployment insurance, and postal service violations;
  • forfeited appearance bonds from convicted federal offenders;
  • special forfeitures of collateral profits from crime;
  • special assessments for individuals and corporations convicted of federal crimes; and
  • gifts, donations, and bequests by private parties.

High Fund Deposits Continue

A large amount of $2,639,962,910 was deposited into the Fund in FY 2015, followed by $1,486,357,496 in FY 2016, amounting to more than $4 billion in total deposits during these 2 years. Consisting of more than $11 billion, the Fund serves as the bedrock of financial support for victim services and represents a stable source of support.

Appropriation Cap and Allocation Process Determine Available Funds

Beginning in 2000, in response to large fluctuations in deposits, Congress instituted an annual limit on funds available for distribution. This limit, also known as the appropriation cap, ensures that the Fund remains large enough to support victim compensation and assistance for years to come. In FYs 2015 and 2016, the appropriation caps were $2.361 billion and $3.042 billion, respectively—the largest amounts since the cap was instituted.

For more information about VOCA compensation and assistance, including the allocation process mandated by Congress, see the Crime Victims Fund. State-by-state allocations for VOCA Compensation and Assistance for 2015 and 2016 are also available on the OVC website.