Frequently asked questions: Victim Services

Do all municipalities with a police department have to provide victim assistance services?
A. Yes. The city can provide these services directly or contract with an approved service provider, including another law enforcement agency such as the county sheriff’s department. A properly constructed and executed service contract, approved by the State Office of Victim Assistance, transfers the responsibility and liabilities for victim services to the contractor.

How are victim assistance services funded?
A. The state allows municipalities to retain 11.16 percent of the 107.5 percent assessment on court fines processed through their municipal court. Municipalities must use these funds exclusively for notifying victims of their rights and providing victim support services/programs within the guidelines established by SOVA.

How are the restrictions on victims service funds monitored and enforced?
A. Municipalities must submit their annual budget to SOVA within 30 days of adoption. The adopted budget must specifically identify victim service revenue and expenditures. The victims service revenue and expenditures must be capable of being traced through the financial system. State law also requires municipalities carry forward any unused victim assistance funds each year and to use the revenue exclusively for providing victim services. To ensure the proper use of victim assistance funds, SOVA is authorized to perform audits and require the repayment of unauthorized expenditures.