The federal government needs to spend more money under the 2004 Crime Victims’ Rights Act, the Justice Department and Government Accountability Office told a congressional hearing yesterday, reports MainJustice.com. The law is designed to ensure victims of crimes are protected from threats, notified of the planned release of a perpetrator, and given the right to testify at parole hearings.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), ranking member of the House crime subcommittee, called the law's funding “appallingly low, embarrassingly low.” The 2004 law authorized $46.3 million over five years to crime victim programs. Grants to state, tribal and local prosecutors' offices were also created to enforce victims' rights. GAO said it was unclear how much of that money was actually appropriated.