Funding to benefit programs that provide direct services to victims of violent crime
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 26, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey announced that applications will be available for $10 million in additional grant funding to support victims of crime in the commonwealth.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky has experienced three years of significant decreases in the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) award due to nationwide reductions in funding at the federal level. To supplement this reduced funding, the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet's 2023-2024 biennial budget includes an additional $10 million each fiscal year from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). This will provide additional funding for programs that focus on crime reduction, or directly assist crime victims in the commonwealth.
“My administration has been committed to helping crime victims since day one," said Gov. Beshear. “This additional annual funding ensures we will be able to help even more victims as we continue to create a safer Kentucky."
The Governor said VOCA is the only federal grant program supporting direct assistance services to victims and survivors of all types of crimes. The primary purpose of the VOCA grant program is to extend and enhance services to survivors of violent crime. Anyone who has suffered physical, sexual, financial, or emotional harm as the result of the commission of a crime is eligible to receive VOCA-supported assistance services. These services respond to the emotional, psychological, or physical needs of crime victims, assist them in stabilizing their lives after victimization, help them understand and navigate the criminal justice process and/or help restore a measure of security and safety for survivors. The additional ARPA funding will ensure that this support continues.
“We are taking extra steps to make sure we comply with federal rules because this is a unique event," said Secretary Harvey. “With this additional funding we are able to keep funding programs that provide services that crime victims desperately need."
Use of the additional funds must be compliant with, and eligible under, the ARPA Final Rule. Not all activities eligible under Federal VOCA guidelines may be eligible under ARPA guidelines. If awarded, these ARPA funds should be treated as an individual grant, separate from any subaward of VOCA funding from the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. If an organization receives both a VOCA subaward and an additional ARPA subaward, they should keep records that clearly distinguish which funds have been requested and obligated for all reimbursable activities. Information on eligible activities and materials for reference will be provided in the application.
All applications must be submitted online via Intelligrants 10.0 (IGX), the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet's electronic Grants Management System. New applicants will be required to establish an account and become familiar with the system well in advance of the due date. Applicants should also note that validating a new user account requires 48 to 72 hours. Applicants must also possess a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) from the federal System for Award Management at http://sam.gov/ in order to be eligible to receive an award. Applications are due by September 30 at 6pm EST and awards are expected to be announced in late October. Assistance with the application process may be obtained by contacting Grants Management staff at JUSIGX@ky.gov.
Beshear-Coleman Administration Fights to Seek Justice for Victims of Crime
Since taking office, Gov. Andy Beshear has consistently championed reducing and preventing domestic and dating violence and abuse while helping victims and survivors receive the services they need. During the 2022 Regular General Assembly Session, the Governor signed bills into law like Senate Bill 38, which defines Class A and B felony incest as a violent offense, requiring offenders to serve longer sentences for committing this heinous crime. Additionally, he signed Senate Bill 271 into law in April which will improve the ways in which domestic violence data in Kentucky is collected, analyzed, and utilized. SB 271 will ultimately enhance responses and prevention efforts from agencies including law enforcement, courts, and service providers, and better meet the needs of victims and survivors.
The administration has awarded more than $60 million in grant funding to victim service agencies across the commonwealth.
In March, Gov. Beshear announced an anticipated $22 million in grant funding would be available through the federal Victims of Crime Act program (VOCA) and invited eligible agencies throughout the commonwealth to apply.
“As your Governor, protecting all Kentuckians and promoting justice across our commonwealth is a top priority," said Gov. Beshear. “This annual grant funding by VOCA allows us to continue taking vital steps as we build a more equitable, safer Kentucky for generations to come."
At the beginning of the year, Gov. Beshear and Secretary Harvey announced that an additional $849,491 in federal grant funding had been award to the Kentucky State Police (KSP) to hire a new investigator with the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Investigate Team to focus on investigating and identifying sexual offenders in Jefferson County. The KSP SAKI investigative team was originally formed in July 2021 after the U.S. Department of Justice awarded $1.5 million to the commonwealth to leverage existing investigative resources within the KSP Crime Lab by transitioning three trained investigators and a criminal intelligence analyst from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General to KSP.
In February and December 2021, Gov. Beshear announced awards totaling over $4 million to fight sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and dating violence through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Services, Training, Officers, Prosecution (STOP) Formula Grant Program.
The Beshear-Coleman administration continues to provide for victims of dating violence and abuse, domestic violence and abuse and sexual assault.
During the 2021 legislative session, Gov. Beshear signed HB 310, sponsored by Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Jefferson County. HB 310 allows a commonwealth attorney to file a petition for an involuntary commitment for violent offenders who are incompetent to stand trial and would not benefit from additional treatment, but who are deemed a danger to themselves or others. By signing this bill, the Governor closed a gap in state law that allowed some defendants to avoid both prison time and mental health treatment.
Report Domestic Violence
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, no matter when the violence took place, please contact the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Their webpage provides resources for victims, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233).