The Crime Victims Fund (the Fund) was established by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984. The Fund is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders, not from tax dollars. As of September 2013, the Fund balance had reached almost $9 billion and includes deposits from federal criminal fines, forfeited bail bonds, penalties, and special assessments collected by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, federal U.S. courts, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Federal revenues deposited into the Fund also come from gifts, donations, and bequests by private parties, as provided by an amendment to VOCA through the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001 that went into effect in 2002. From 2002 – 2013, over $300 thousand dollars have been deposited into the Fund through this provision.
When the Fund was authorized in 1984, a cap was placed on how much could be deposited into it for the first 8 years. During this time, the annual cap varied from $100 million to $150 million. The lifting of the cap in 1993 allowed for the deposit of all criminal fines, special assessments, and forfeited bail bonds to support crime victim program activities.
For the first 15 years of the Fund’s existence, the total deposits for each fiscal year were distributed the following year to support services to crime victims.
Starting in 2000, in response to large fluctuations in deposits, Congress placed a cap on funds available for distribution. These annual caps were intended to maintain the Fund as a stable source of support for future victim services. From 2000 to 2012, the amount of the annual cap varied from $500 million to $705 million. In FY 2013, the cap was set at $730 million.
For more details about the Fund, review the Crime Victims Fund fact sheet.
Visit the Grants & Funding section for more information about how VOCA funds are allocated to benefit victims.
The following chart has an overview of how VOCA works.
|How VOCA Works
||Click on the image for an enlarged view. VOCA chart (PDF 1.4 mb) as published in the 2009 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Resource Guide.|