BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Commission had a special meeting on Friday, April 1. The meeting took place at the Upshur County Administrative Annex. Items on the agenda included the approval and signature of the fiscal year 2022 Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance grant application and the review, approval and signature of the W. Va. Opioid Memorandum of Understanding regarding allocation of any settlement of the claims in the opioid litigation.
Commissioners approved and signed for the VOCA grant program application. According to official documentation from the VOCA grant program application, the program will utilize available local and state resources to provide appropriate services to victims of crime in Upshur County. Services provided to the victims by the program will include but are not limited to notification of criminal charges, hearings and changes in court status, court proceeding accompaniment, assistance in requesting and/or collecting restitution, making referrals to other agencies if appropriate, assistance in filing Crime Victims Compensation Fund claims, personal advocacy and safety planning.
The National Network to end Domestic Violence webpage stated that the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund was created by Congress in 1984 to provide federal support to state and local programs that assist victims of crime. VOCA uses non-taxpayer money from the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) for programs that serve victims of crime, including state-formula victim assistance grants. These funds, which are generated by fines paid by federal criminals, support services to over six million victims of all types of crimes annually, through 6,462 direct service organizations, such as domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers and child abuse treatment programs. Sustained VOCA funds are needed to respond to the dangerous lack of available services for victims.
Commissioners also approved the signature of the W. Va. Opioid Memorandum of Understanding, but entered into executive session secondary to attorney-client confidentiality.
The next Upshur County Commission meeting will take place at the Upshur County Courthouse Annex on Thursday, April 7 at 9 a.m.