Tennessee Treasury Observes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 19-25
NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Treasury is joining organizations across the country April 19 - 25 in recognizing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to raise awareness of victims’ rights, inspire the community, and address unmet needs.
In observation of the week, State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. wants to remind the public of a fund designed to help innocent victims of violent crimes in Tennessee and restore hope. The Criminal Injuries Compensation (CIC) Program, a program of the Tennessee Department of Treasury, serves victims who have no other means of helping to defray the costs of eligible expenses. The fund covers expenses caused by personal injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, loss of support to financial dependents, mental health counseling, and more.
Money in the fund can even help with the expenses incurred while cleaning the scene of the crime, if it occurred in a victim’s home. If the crime results in the death of the victim, the fund can help those remaining dependents with some financial support and can help cover funeral expenses.
The theme for the 2020 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, “Seek Justice | Ensure Victims’ Rights | Inspire Hope,” recognizes those whose advocacy has propelled the victims’ rights movement forward for the past half century, inspiring in victims and their loved ones a feeling of hope for progress, justice, and healing. This matters to our residents because about 3.3 million Americans age 12 or older were victims of violent crime in 2018, according to the most recent National Crime Victimization Survey from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Early intervention helps prevent further victimization and involvement in the criminal justice system, thus addressing the cycle of violence and restoring hope for the future.
Since its inception in 1982, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund has paid out more than $300 million in claims to Tennessee victims and their families when no other financial means were available. The money in the fund comes from fines, penalties, and fees paid by criminals to state and federal courts.
“This is a fund of last resort,” Treasurer Lillard said. “One would hope to never be a victim, but we all know bad things do happen. When you have no other means, please know there is still help with this program.”
For more information, view the CIC Fund Resource Guide, also available in Spanish, and learn more about the program at treasury.tn.gov/injury. Follow the Tennessee Treasury on Facebook and Twitter to get involved in the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week conversation.