This announcement comes as the governor
proclaims October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Illinois
Criminal Justice Information Authority, in partnership with Illinois
Department of Human Services and Illinois Department of Labor, has
undertaken a statewide campaign to heighten public awareness of the
critical issue of domestic and sexual violence.
A $14.6 million grant will support the
Victims of Crime Act in Illinois. This law was created to assist
victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence, child abuse and other
groups identified by the state as underserved victims of crime.
"We are making a concerted effort to
reach out to underserved victims in Illinois," said Gov.
Blagojevich. "This funding will help us support programs that offer
services to victims with special needs and in all regions of the
Service agencies receiving funding
will provide victims with crisis intervention, counseling, emergency
shelter, emergency transportation, and court, medical and personal
"Our goal is to continue to improve
the well-being of crime victims across Illinois," said Lori G.
Levin, executive director of Illinois Criminal Justice Information
Authority. "We can do this by easing victimization and decreasing
the chances of re-victimization."
Victims of Crime Act funding is
drawn from the fines, penalty assessments and bond forfeitures
collected from convicted federal offenders. Between July 1, 2002,
and June 30, 2003, VOCA grants were disbursed to 139 victim service
providers across Illinois, including the Illinois Coalition Against
Domestic Violence, the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault and
organizations that support survivors of homicide victims, victims of
drunk driving crashes and violent crime victims with special needs,
such as people with disabilities and the elderly.
The state also was awarded $4.3
million to support the Violence Against Women Act. Funding under
this law helps improve the criminal justice system's response to
female victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
"This funding will allow us to
continue to provide victim services to women in need, especially
those living in areas where assistance is not easily accessible,"
said Gov. Blagojevich.
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The funding allocations under the
Violence Against Women Act are as follows: 25 percent to law
enforcement, 25 percent to prosecution, 30 percent to service
providers and 5 percent to courts. The remaining 15 percent may be
allocated at the state's discretion. The Illinois Criminal Justice
Information Authority relies on statistical data, surveys of the
criminal justice and victim service agencies, and its own Ad Hoc
Committee on Violence Against Women to recommend funding priorities
for VAWA funding.
The ad hoc committee's funding
priorities through June 2006 include:
- Supporting services to women who
are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence by
establishing satellite service sites in one or more counties and
by extending services to victim groups who are underserved or
- Developing, implementing and
evaluating a plan for training police, prosecutors, judges,
clerks, probation officers, and victim service and health care
providers that reflects the unique information and skills
necessary to promote an interdisciplinary approach to sexual
assault and domestic violence. The plan shall identify training to
be provided to all line staff as well as those who require more
advanced training on responding to victims of sexual assault and
- Identifying and implementing
measures that document and assess the response of criminal justice
agencies in Illinois to sexual assault and domestic violence,
including ways that promote the communication of information among
criminal justice practitioners and service providers.
- Providing support for efforts
enabling the implementation of coordinated multidisciplinary
responses to adult female sexual assault and domestic violence
victims, including the adoption of protocols based on state or
"The goal is to link law enforcement
officials, states attorney's offices and advocacy groups so that
victims receive the best possible service and offenders are held
accountable," said Levin.
The Illinois Criminal Justice
Information Authority disbursed VAWA funds to 85 programs across
Illinois between July 1, 2002, and June 30, 2003, including
transitional housing programs that provide services for victims of
The Illinois Criminal Justice
Information Authority is the state agency designated by the governor
to administer VOCA and VAWA funds awarded to Illinois by the U.S.
Department of Justice.
[News release from the
Illinois Criminal Justice