County Approves VOCA Grant Application

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Commissioners approved the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant application at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Victim/Witness Coordinator Margie Rosselli reported the program is applying for $86,606 in VOCA funding for a two-year period, beginning Jan. 1 and ending June 30, 2015.

She said the VOCA grant provides for direct services to victims of all crimes, including assisting with Victims Compensation Assistance Program claims submission to the state’s Commission on Crime and Delinquency, criminal justice support and advocacy, information and referral to other services, follow-up counseling/empathetic listening, support groups, personal advocacy and crisis counseling.

Rosselli said the VOCA funds are for one, full-time equivalent position filled by her and Susan Lewis. She said each is paid 50 percent with VOCA funds for wages and benefits.  Rosselli said that supplies, operating, travel and training expenses will also be paid with VOCA funds to support the personnel in providing the Victim/Witness services.

She noted that Pennsylvania’s allocation for VOCA agencies was reduced by 9 percent from the previous allocation in 2011-2013. She added that additional reductions may result from the federal sequestration of funds and take effect by this summer.

Rosselli said the Victim/Witness program operates under the direction of Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. As of 2012, the county hasn’t allocated any money to the Victim/Witness program. Rosselli said it’s solely funded by the VOCA and Rights and Services Act (RASA) grants and fee collections on criminal cases.

The Victim/Witness program currently has two full-time staff and two part-time staff.

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