WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to hold offenders accountable and help Rhode Islanders who are victims of crime, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today announced that the Rhode Island Crime Victims Compensation Program is receiving $891,000 in federal funding to provide financial assistance to crime victims. This grant will reimburse victims up to $25,000 for medical bills, counseling, lost wages, funeral costs, and other expenses that are not covered by insurance or court-ordered restitution.

"The last thing a crime victim should have to worry about is how they are going to make up for lost wages or cover their medical expenses," said Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds Department of Justice programs. "For years, Rhode Island's Crime Victims Fund has played a vital role in helping crime victims heal their wounds, both physical and emotional, and get back on their feet."

Funding for this program comes from the Crime Victims Fund, which is financed through fines paid by federal criminal offenders.

"People who break the law should be held legally and financially responsible," concluded Reed. "This program has helped compensate thousands of Rhode Islanders and gotten them access to much needed services without forcing taxpayers to incur any costs."

Reed has been a consistent supporter of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and the Crime Victims Fund. In April, he joined his colleagues in sending a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee's CJS Subcommittee requesting that it retain all deposits from crime offenders into the Crime Victims Fund. The Bush Administration has sought over the last four years to rescind this money. Reed also requested that the cap on VOCA funding be increased from $590 million to $770 million.