Crime victims’ advocates are worried about one aspect of President Bush’s proposed budget cuts that has received little attention: eliminating funds for programs to aid crime victims from the collection of federal criminal fines and forfeitures. The victim set-aside was created in a 1984 federal anticrime law. The funds are used to grant for local agencies that offer crisis intervention, counseling, guidance, legal advocacy, and transportation to court or to shelters, says the Delaware County (Pa.) Times.
The newpaper says that the administration’s budget proposal would remove $1.27 billion from the Crime Victims Fund. “It is a mistake to allow Congress or the president to take funds earmarked for a segment of the population that already gets too little consideration — crime victims,” the Times editorializes. The paper adds that, “no one has to look very far to see what happens when the federal government sticks its hands in a fund that should be off-limits. If the feds had left the Social Security Trust Fund alone, the ear-piercing current debate would be unnecessary.”