Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) 2015-2019 Plan

The Office of Crime Victims Advocacy (OCVA), located within the Washington State Department of Commerce, serves as the administrator of federal VOCA Assistance funds. Historically, the amount awarded to Washington State for pass-through funding has been between $7 million and $10 million each year. Early in 2015, Congress permitted a much larger amount to be withdrawn from the VOCA fund, which is composed of federal fines and property seizures. This congressional change has resulted in an increase in Washington State’s award for pass-through funding, with total funds available for Washington pass-through funding anticipated to be approximately $40 million per federal fiscal year.

OCVA established the VOCA planning group to conduct a statewide planning process to guide the development of the 2015-2019 VOCA State Plan (PDF) and formulate recommendations to guide the use of VOCA funds through 2019.

The VOCA planning group launched a statewide planning process that included opportunities for input from crime victims, victim service providers, law enforcement, the courts, and other interested parties. The process included a series of five regional in-person discussions, an online electronic survey, a feedback session at the WomenSpirit Coalition Conference, and opportunities to submit additional comments. OCVA received input from over 160 participants in five discussion sessions held in Spokane, Yakima, Shelton, and Seattle, as well as input from 141 respondents to the online survey, and six comment submissions. While discussion participants, survey respondents, and commenters offered differing perspectives, the input process yielded substantial consensus on key unmet needs of those hurt or harmed by crime and major challenges confronting crime victim service providers.

This document (PDF) summarizes the major issues and suggestions shared through the input process, and presents the OCVA VOCA planning group recommendations for the use of VOCA funding during the plan period, 2015-2019. The document is organized into three primary sections:

A. What We Heard: Input Received through the VOCA Planning Process

B. Recommended VOCA Funding Strategies

C. 2015-2019 VOCA State Plan Proposed Funding Allocation