The Office of Victims Services (OVS) distributes funding from federal and state sources to local non-profit and government agencies to help victims of crime. These victim service-related grant funding programs include the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Program, the federal STOP Violence Against Women Grant Program (STOP), the state Rights and Services Act (RASA) and state Juvenile Offenders (VOJO) Program. Read more about each of these programs in the sections below.
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Funding
The federally funded Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) supports the provision of direct services to victims of crime. This includes a broad array of services for victims ranging from crisis intervention, emergency shelter, counseling, and criminal justice advocacy. VOCA is funded by the Crime Victims Fund, which is comprised of fines, forfeitures, and penalty assessments on offenders convicted of federal crimes. The primary goal of VOCA is to provide federal support to both state and local programs that assist victims of crime.
According to federal VOCA guidelines, to be eligible for VOCA funding, an agency must provide services to crime victims and be operated by a non-profit organization or public agency, or a combination of such agencies or organizations. Eligible organizations include:
- Victim service organizations whose sole mission is to provide services to crime victims
- a public or non-profit organization that has a component which offers services to victims, if the funds are used to expand or enhance the delivery of crime victim services
For more information on VOCA and helpful links, please click here.
Rights and Services (RASA) and Victims of Juvenile Offenders (VOJO) Funding
RASA/VOJO funding supports activities that are consistent with the prosecutor's and juvenile probation's responsibilities as outlined in the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act, the Pennsylvania Juvenile Act and the Pennsylvania Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure. The overarching goals of RASA and VOJO funding are to ensure that victims of crimes committed by adult and juvenile offenders, whose cases are processed within the criminal and juvenile justice systems, receive all the rights and services to which they are entitled by law. The agencies responsible for the actual provision of the rights and responsibilities may vary and can include prosecutors' offices, juvenile probation offices and community=based victim service programs or any combination of the three.
The source of funds for RASA is the Victim/Witness Fund which is comprised of a $25 penalty assessment on convicted/diverted offenders. VOJO is funded by an Annual State Appropriation.
For additional RASA/VOJO information and helpful links, please click here.
Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors (STOP) Funding
The STOP( Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grants are awarded to develop and strengthen the criminal justice system's response to violence against women and to support and enhance services for victims. To receive funding, each county must have a Coordinating Team for its STOP Project
made up of individuals from Victim Services Programs, Law Enforcement,
Prosecution, and from any other service area the county may decide to
When STOP Program funding is available, all 67 counties in Pennsylvania are welcome to apply; however, in order to be considered eligible there are certain requirements that grantees must agree to meet. County governments and non-profit victim service agencies are eligible to apply for STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Funding.
For additional STOP information and helpful links, please click here.