[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 166 (Tuesday, August 27, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 52877-52893]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-20426]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

28 CFR Part 94

[Docket No. OJP (OVC) 1523]
RIN 1121-AA69


VOCA Victim Assistance Program

AGENCY: Office for Victims of Crime, Justice.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Office for Victims of Crime (``OVC'') of the U.S. 
Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (``OJP''), proposes 
this rule to

[[Page 52878]]

implement the victim assistance formula grant program (``Victim 
Assistance Program'') authorized by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 
(``VOCA''). Generally speaking, this law authorizes OVC to provide an 
annual grant from the Crime Victims Fund to each State and eligible 
territory for the financial support of services to victims of crime by 
eligible crime victim assistance programs. The proposed rule would 
codify and update the existing VOCA Victim Assistance Program 
Guidelines (``Guidelines'') to reflect changes in OVC policy, needs of 
the crime victims services field, and VOCA itself.

DATES: Comments must be received by no later than 11:59 p.m., E.T., on 
October 28, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may view an electronic version of this proposed rule at 
http://www.regulations.gov, and you may also comment by using the 
www.regulations.gov form for this regulation. OVC prefers to receive 
comments via www.regulations.gov where possible. When submitting 
comments electronically, you should include OJP Docket No. 1523 in the 
subject box. Additionally, comments may also be submitted via U.S. 
mail, to: Toni Thomas, State Compensation and Assistance Division, 
Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. 
Department of Justice, 810 7th Street NW., Washington, DC 20531; or by 
telefacsimile transmission, to: Toni Thomas, at (202) 305-2440. To 
ensure proper handling, please reference OJP Docket No. 1523 on your 
correspondence.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Toni Thomas, State Compensation and 
Assistance Division, Office for Victims of Crime, at (202) 307-5983.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Posting of Public Comments

    Please note that all comments received are considered part of the 
public record and made available for public inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying 
information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by 
the commenter.
    If you wish to submit personal identifying information (such as 
your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not wish for 
it to be posted online, you must include the phrase ``PERSONAL 
IDENTIFYING INFORMATION'' in the first paragraph of your comment. You 
must also locate all the personal identifying information you do not 
want posted online in the first paragraph of your comment and identify 
what information you want redacted.
    If you wish to submit confidential business information as part of 
your comment but do not wish it to be posted online, you must include 
the phrase ``CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION'' in the first paragraph 
of your comment. You must also prominently identify confidential 
business information to be redacted within the comment. If a comment 
has so much confidential business information that it cannot be 
effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be posted on 
http://www.regulations.gov.
    Personal identifying information identified and located as set 
forth above will be placed in the agency's public docket file, but not 
posted online. Confidential business information identified and located 
as set forth above will not be placed in the agency's public docket 
file, nor will it be posted online. If you wish to inspect the agency's 
public docket file in person by appointment, please see the ``For 
Further Information Contact'' paragraph.

II. Executive Summary

A. Purpose of the Proposed Regulatory Action

    The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) authorizes OVC to provide 
an annual formula grant from the Crime Victims Fund to each State and 
eligible territory. These annual Victim Assistance Program formula 
grants are used by the States and territories to provide financial 
support to eligible crime victim assistance programs. See 42 U.S.C. 
10603. OVC proposes this rule pursuant to the rulemaking authority 
granted to the OVC Director by 42 U.S.C. 10604(a). The proposed rule 
would codify and update the existing program Guidelines to reflect 
changes in OVC policy, the needs of the crime victim services field, 
and VOCA itself.

B. Summary of the Major Provisions of the Proposed Regulatory Action

    OVC proposes some substantive departure from the Guidelines; 
however, the majority of provisions in the proposed rule are the same 
as the corresponding provisions of the Guidelines. The proposed rule 
would reorganize the program rules into five major parts: (1) General 
Provisions; (2) State Administering Agency Program Requirements; (3) 
State Administering Agency Use of VOCA Funds for Administration and 
Training; (4) Sub-Recipient Program Requirements; and (5) Sub-Recipient 
Allowable/Unallowable Costs.
    The rules proposed in the General Provisions part would not 
substantively depart from the Guidelines. The definitions section in 
this part proposes to define frequently used terms, including ``crime 
victim'', ``State administering agency'', ``victim of child abuse'', 
and ``direct services''. These proposed definitions are consistent in 
substance with the definitions in the Guidelines. OVC proposes a new 
definition of the undefined statutory term ``child abuse'' that is 
intended to make patent OVC's existing flexible approach of allowing 
States to address a broad variety of harm to children.
    The State Administering Agency Program Requirements part proposes a 
basic statement of the purpose of State-level VOCA funding, and 
summarizes the statutory eligibility and certification requirements. 
OVC proposes to clarify that the existing practice (presently allowed 
by OVC, but not acknowledged in the existing Guidelines) in some States 
of passing funds along to another entity to administer the State's 
victim assistance program is permissible, and to set out rules for 
administering funding in this way. OVC proposes a section clearly 
setting forth how States must allocate VOCA funding among various types 
of victim service programs (e.g., those serving priority crime victim 
categories, and previously underserved victims), but does not propose 
any changes to the allocation percentages set out in the Guidelines. 
OVC proposes a new mandate that State administering agencies compete 
subawards every five years; as well as a provision allowing States to 
use alternative risk-based monitoring procedures instead of the 
standard biennial on-site monitoring of all subawards required by the 
Guidelines. OVC believes that competition of subawards will lead to 
better and more cost-effective services; while allowing States to 
propose alternative monitoring strategies would allow States to use 
innovative and more cost-effective monitoring practices. This part also 
proposes other situation-specific rules that State administering 
agencies must follow when overseeing subawards; these provisions 
largely track the Guidelines.
    The State Administering Agency Use of VOCA Funds for Administration 
and Training part proposes to clarify and bring the existing guideline 
provisions setting out maximum amounts for administration and training 
costs into harmony with more recent statutory changes. The proposed 
part would list allowable administrative and training costs, all of 
which would be consistent with those set out in the Guidelines.

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    The Sub-Recipient Program Requirements part proposes a concise 
statement of the purpose of VOCA sub-awards, and summarizes the 
statutory eligibility requirements for sub-recipients. OVC proposes 
maintaining the existing project match provisions that require most 
sub-recipients to provide a twenty percent match for the purpose of 
leveraging and augmenting assistance funding. As in the existing 
Guidelines, sub-recipients in U.S. territories and possessions would 
not be subject to match. OVC proposes to eliminate the match 
requirement, currently at five percent, for American Indian and tribal 
organizations. These entities, like those in U.S. territories and 
possessions, often have difficulty accessing matching resources--a 
match requirement in such circumstances can be counterproductive and 
lead to fewer victim services in those already underserved 
jurisdictions.
    The Sub-Recipient Allowable/Unallowable Costs part proposes a list 
of activities that sub-recipients may undertake using VOCA funding. The 
majority of the listed costs are substantively the same as those listed 
in the existing Guidelines. OVC does, however, propose a few 
substantive changes: OVC proposes to allow States more flexibility to 
support legal services for victims. The existing Guidelines allow legal 
services for victims, but only in the emergency context. OVC has 
received feedback from victim service providers indicating that there 
is a significant need for legal services for victims outside of the 
emergency context (e.g., asserting rights in the criminal justice 
process, support for human trafficking victims with a myriad of 
complicated issues). Allowing States to provide such services will lead 
to better outcomes for many victims. OVC also proposes to allow States 
to support services to incarcerated victims (e.g., victims of sexual 
assault in prison) in most circumstances. The existing Guidelines do 
not allow such services; however, the change is consistent with the 
recommendations of the 2009 report by the National Prison Rape 
Elimination Commission, discussed in more detail below. OVC also 
proposes allowing States greater flexibility to support transitional 
housing and relocation expenses using VOCA funds, as such services can 
lead to better outcomes for many victims (e.g., those abused by a 
caretaker). OVC proposes allowing States to permit sub-recipients to 
use VOCA funds for coordination activities, which often allow local 
organizations to more effectively leverage community resources and 
provide better and more cost-effective services.

C. Cost and Benefits

    As discussed in more detail under the Executive Orders 12866 and 
13563--Regulatory Review section below, the proposed rule would clarify 
and update the existing Guidelines, but would not alter the existing 
program structure at all. Updating the existing Guidelines to clearly 
and accurately reflect the statutory parameters will facilitate State 
compliance with VOCA requirements, and thus avoid potentially costly 
non-compliance findings. The proposed rule would make only a few 
substantive changes to the existing Guidelines, and these would be of a 
permissive, not mandatory, nature. Some changes, like allowing more 
flexibility to coordinate and leverage community resources, and adopt 
alternative monitoring strategies, would impose no costs but will 
potentially allow States to use existing funding more efficiently. 
Other proposed changes that allow States to allocate funding to 
services not presently allowable, could change the allocation of VOCA 
funding amongst victim services provided by sub-recipient 
organizations, and amongst victim service organizations. Such 
reallocations of funding, however, are not mandated and each State and 
territory would make the ultimate decision with regard to whether to 
change its current funding allocations, if it chooses to do so at all. 
This is not a change from the present discretion that States have to 
allocate funding according to State priorities. OVC anticipates that 
most States will continue to allocate the majority of VOCA funding to 
victim services for certain types of crimes (intimate partner violence, 
sexual assault, child abuse) at consistent levels. Any potential 
reallocations would be relatively minor (even when taken in aggregate 
across States) in comparison to the overall mix of allowable victim 
services, and thus they are unlikely to create new costs or significant 
fund transfers. In any event, the real benefits of additional allowable 
services for currently underserved and un-served victims are 
significant.

III. Background

A. Overview

    OVC proposes this rule to implement its Victim Assistance Program, 
a formula grant program authorized by Section 1404 of the Victims of 
Crime Act of 1984, Public Law 98-473, codified at 42 U.S.C. 10603. This 
section of VOCA authorizes OVC to provide an annual grant from the 
Crime Victims Fund to each State and eligible territory for the 
financial support of services to victims of crime by eligible crime 
victim assistance programs.
    OVC's Victim Assistance Program is funded out of the Crime Victims 
Fund. The Fund receives Federal criminal fines, penalties, and 
assessments, as well as certain gifts and bequests, but does not 
receive any general tax revenue. The Crime Victims Fund is administered 
by OVC and amounts that may be obligated therefrom are allocated each 
year according to the VOCA formula at 42 U.S.C. 10601. In recent years, 
the amount available for obligation via the VOCA formula allocations 
has been capped by law at less than the total amount available in the 
Fund. The VOCA formula specifies that (in most years) the first $20M 
available in the Fund for that year will go toward child abuse 
prevention and treatment programs, with a certain amount to be carved 
out for programs to address child abuse in Indian Country. After that, 
such sums as may be necessary are available to the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation and the U.S. Attorneys Offices to improve services to 
victims of Federal crime, and to operate a victim notification system. 
Whatever is left is allocated as follows: 47.5% for OVC's Victim 
Compensation Program, 47.5% for OVC's Victim Assistance Program, and 
the remaining 5% for the OVC Director to distribute in discretionary 
awards in certain statutorily defined categories. Generally, under the 
distribution rules for the Victim Compensation Program, if a portion of 
the 47.5% available for Compensation is not needed for that purpose, it 
is (per formula) made available to augment the Victim Assistance 
Program. The Victim Assistance Program distributes funds to the States 
and eligible territories as mandated by VOCA in 42 U.S.C. 10603. The 
VOCA statutory distribution formula provides each State with a base 
amount (presently $500,000 for each State; $200,000 for each eligible 
territory), and distributes the remainder proportionately based on the 
State populations.
    The proposed rule would supersede the existing VOCA Victim 
Assistance Program Guidelines that were published in the Federal 
Register on April 22, 1997, at 62 FR 19607. It reflects changes in OVC 
policy, in the needs of the crime victim services field, and in VOCA 
itself. OVC invites and welcomes comments from States and territories, 
organizations and individuals involved in the victim services field, 
and any other members of the interested public, on any aspects of this 
proposed

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rulemaking. All comments will be considered prior to publication of a 
final rule.

B. History of This Rulemaking

    OVC published the Final Program Guidelines, Victims of Crime Act, 
FY 1997 Victim Assistance Program on April 22, 1997. Those Guidelines 
were based on OVC experience with the Victim Assistance Program, legal 
opinions rendered since the inception of the program in 1986, and 
comments from the field on the Proposed Program Guidelines published in 
the Federal Register on February 18, 1997. On September 3, 2002, OVC 
published a notice of Proposed Program Guide at 67 FR 56444, seeking 
comments to refine the administration of the Victim Assistance Program 
further; thereafter, however, OVC chose not to issue final guidance to 
supersede the 1997 Guidelines. After receiving comments on the 2002 
proposed guide, OVC instead decided to pursue the publication of 
codified program regulations rather than merely revise the guideline 
document. In anticipation of re-starting this rulemaking process, 
throughout 2010 OVC sought preliminary input from the field regarding 
improving victim services and potential modifications to the Victim 
Assistance Program rules that would facilitate such improvement.

C. Discussion of Changes Proposed in This Notice

    The 1997 Guidelines have served to assist and guide OVC, State 
administering agencies, and direct service providers, in administering, 
distributing, and using VOCA funds to assist victims of crime 
nationwide. As mentioned above, however, over the sixteen years since 
their promulgation, the existing Guidelines have been overtaken by 
changes in the VOCA statute itself, developments in the crime victim 
services field, as well as technological advancements, and new 
approaches to State administration of VOCA funding. For example, OVC, 
through its funding of nationwide training and technical assistance for 
victim service organizations and the findings of its Vision 21 
initiative, which examined the state of the victim services field, as 
well as through reports of other organizations, such as the Prison Rape 
Elimination Commission, has become aware of a need for certain types of 
services and gaps in services for certain types of victims. In 
particular, OVC wishes to address the need for increased legal services 
for victims, which is particularly important for human trafficking 
victims, but also for victims of domestic abuse, identity theft, and 
other crimes as well. OVC has funded programs providing services for 
human trafficking victims for more than a decade under the authority of 
the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, and, through various 
evaluation efforts, has gained significant experience in providing 
effective services for this victim population. OVC wishes to 
incorporate this experience into the proposed rule to allow States to 
effectively assist these victims. Likewise, the findings of the Prison 
Rape Elimination Commission illuminated an acute need for increased 
victim services for incarcerated victims, and OVC wishes to allow 
States to address this gap in services. In addition, information 
technology has advanced significantly since 1997, and the proposed rule 
would allow victim service providers greater flexibility to use VOCA 
funding to leverage technology to enhance victim services. For example, 
informational and outreach efforts via online forums and social 
networking may be effective and relatively inexpensive ways to reach 
certain victim populations. In addition, podcasting and digital video 
sharing enable victim service providers to continually reach victims 
with enriched information. Videoconferencing using real-time audio and 
video technology services, administered through a secure, encrypted 
connection, can deliver confidential, face-to-face assistance. OVC's 
intent for this proposed rule is to account for developments over the 
last decade, and to reflect program parameters applicable to each 
participating entity accurately. In so doing, OVC hopes to allow 
administering agencies and victim service providers to fully leverage 
the progress that the field has made over the last decade in knowledge 
of victim needs, victim service strategies, and efficient program 
administration, with the end goal of assisting crime victims more 
effectively.
    As a technical and structural matter, the existing Victim 
Assistance Program Guidelines are not in a format suitable for 
publication in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and therefore 
have been re-formatted in this notice to conform to CFR formatting 
requirements. Moreover, the existing Guidelines are not ideally 
structured in terms of readability and ease of reference. The proposed 
rule below attempts to remedy these deficiencies by creating manageable 
units of information, reorganizing related concepts and rules together 
more logically, and attempting to use consistent terminology throughout 
the document.
    In addition, the existing Guidelines contain extended repetition of 
the VOCA statutory language. OVC notes that in several instances this 
has caused confusion as certain statutory language was changed in 
subsequent laws (for example, the provisions regarding the percentage 
of funds that a State may use for training and administration), thereby 
making obsolete and inaccurate the existing guideline's recitation of 
the superseded law (as statutory language obviously supersedes an 
agency's contrary guidance or rule on the same subject pronounced 
through guideline or regulation). The proposed rule omits repetition of 
statutory language, except where needed for context and ease of use. 
OVC notes that the proposed rule is drafted to be read in conjunction 
with the rules and definitions in the applicable section of VOCA (42 
U.S.C. 10603).
    OVC here proposes several substantive changes to the program 
Guidelines, although many of the provisions for the Victim Assistance 
Program set out in the existing Guidelines have been retained in 
substance. (It should be noted that, as explained above, the text of 
such provisions may have been reformatted as needed to accommodate the 
regulatory process and to improve the overall clarity of the document.) 
The most significant of these substantive proposed changes are 
discussed below in the order that they appear in the revised document, 
and with reference to the applicable section of the proposed rule. 
Cross-references to corresponding sections of the existing Guidelines 
are provided where possible for ease of comparison.
General Provisions
    The proposed rule contains several terms and definitions that are 
used throughout the document. These are set out in section 94.102 for 
ease of reference. Notably--
     The definitions of crime victim (or victim of crime) 
remains unchanged from the existing guideline; it is meant to be a 
broad definition, taking into account many kinds of harm resulting from 
criminal acts.
     The term State administering agency (``SAA'') is used to 
refer to the State or territorial entity receiving victim assistance 
program funds directly from OVC. This terminology is more descriptive 
than ``direct grantee'' or ``State grantee'' and is more consistent 
with terminology used in other formula programs administered by OJP 
entities.

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     OVC has added a definition of the term ``spousal abuse'' 
that clarifies that the term includes intimate partner violence and 
dating violence. Spousal abuse was the terminology used in VOCA in the 
1980s, but has since fallen out of use in the victim service field. OVC 
retains the term in the proposed rule because it is still in the 
statute, but clarifies that OVC understands it to encompass the 
concepts of intimate partner and dating violence.
     OVC has added a definition of ``victim of child abuse'', 
to clarify that the term covers a broad variety of harm to children. 
Child abuse victims are a statutorily mandated priority category, and 
the clarification will ensure that VOCA-funded State victim assistance 
programs may support a broad variety of victim assistance projects that 
address the abuse of children. Many child victims experience poly-
victimization, meaning several different kinds of direct victimization 
or indirect exposure to violence (either as an eyewitness or through 
other knowledge) over a period of time. Poly-victimization greatly 
increases children's vulnerability to mental health, behavioral, school 
performance, and other problems, and can contribute to lifelong 
challenges for the affected children. In addition, children's exposure 
to violence--in their homes, schools, or communities--as victims or 
witnesses, is often associated with long-term physical, psychological, 
and emotional harm, and can contribute to behavioral problems, 
including substance abuse, and negative health outcomes. VOCA-funded 
victim assistance programs may use funding to address these various 
forms of child abuse. In addition, the definition clarifies that child 
pornography related offenses are a form of child abuse. OVC intends to 
permit States the flexibility to fund programs to help these victims, 
whose needs may arise immediately after the abuse, or much later--for 
example, upon distribution of images of the abuse. OVC views 
distribution of such images as a form of re-victimization that States 
and victim advocates are struggling to address, and seeks comments on 
this provision.
     The definition of direct services remains largely 
unchanged, except for formatting.
State Administering Agency Program Requirements
    Purpose and State administering agency eligibility. Section 
94.103(a) is self-explanatory, in that it proposes the purpose of OVC's 
annual VOCA formula grants to the States and territories. Section 
94.103(b) proposes the general rules for State eligibility 
certifications required by VOCA. It is anticipated that OVC will 
require that such certifications be submitted along with each State 
administering agency's annual application for funding (as is the 
current practice). Reporting and technical requirements specific to a 
given fiscal year are generally set out in the annual program 
solicitation, or in supplemental OVC communications if time does not 
permit publication in the solicitation. Section 94.103(c) clarifies 
that a State administering agency may award its VOCA funds to another 
organization to distribute (pass-through administration), and 
highlights a State administering agency's obligations with regard to 
use of administrative and training funds, monitoring, and reporting 
should this method be used.
    Eligible sub-recipient programs. Section 94.104 proposes what a 
State must require of an entity to consider the entity an ``eligible 
crime victim assistance program.'' The criteria for an ``eligible crime 
victim assistance program'' are largely set out in VOCA, and the 
proposed rule merely provides clarifying interpretation needed for 
practical implementation. The section proposes the types of eligible 
entities; criteria for determining the organizational capacity of the 
entity's program; project match requirements that the SAA must require 
the entity to meet; and mandated use of volunteers (with provision for 
waiver). An eligible entity must meet the organizational capacity 
requirements of VOCA, which requires that an eligible entity either 
have a history of providing direct services to victims in an effective 
manner and support from non-VOCA funding, or be able to show 
substantial support from non-VOCA funding. Entities previously not 
funded with VOCA funding are eligible to apply for VOCA funding. What 
constitutes an ``effective manner'' will vary depending on the State 
and community served, the type of victim the entity's services address, 
the type of services provided, best practices within that service 
field, and the characteristics of the entity (e.g. small, specialized 
service provider; larger, comprehensive service provider). The States 
will determine whether an entity has a history of providing services in 
an effective manner for each eligible program and should be able to 
articulate the basis for their determinations. OVC proposes several 
non-exclusive considerations (which are consistent with the existing 
Guidelines) that States may wish to take into account in making such 
determinations. The proposed rule, at 94.104(h), clarifies that the 
statutory VOCA non-discrimination provisions that apply to any VOCA-
funded undertaking, including victim assistance programs, are 
administered in accordance with the Department of Justice's regulations 
implementing non-discrimination requirements and the guidance provided 
by the Office of Civil Rights within the Office of Justice Programs.
    SAA Allocation of Subawards. Section 94.105 proposes how State 
administering agencies must allocate their subawards. OVC's authority 
to direct the allocation of a portion of each State administering 
agency's formula assistance award derives from the VOCA requirements 
(42 U.S.C. 10603(a)(2)(A) and (B)) that the chief executive of each 
State certify that priority shall be given to eligible programs that 
assist certain victim populations (specifically victims of sexual 
assault, spousal abuse, or child abuse), and certify that funds shall 
be made available for programs that serve underserved populations. Note 
that the allocations set out in the proposed rule are substantially the 
same as those set out in the existing guideline (see Guideline IV.A.3 
and 4); the phrasing of these requirements has merely been re-worked 
for clarity. Under the proposed rule SAAs must identify underserved 
categories of victims by the type of crime they experience (such as 
victims of elder abuse) as well as the characteristics of the victim 
(such as victims of violent crime in high crime urban areas or Lesbian 
Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) victims). More information about 
types of crime victim populations will allow OVC and SAAs to better 
tailor their training and technical assistance and victim assistance 
programs to the needs of each community and victim population. The 
proposed rule provides for several exceptions to the required 
allocations. OVC especially seeks comment on whether the allocation 
amounts for priority categories, and the allocation amount and method 
of determining previously underserved populations, remain appropriate.
    Section 94.105(e) proposes to require State administrative agencies 
to fund eligible sub-entities through a competitive process. This is an 
important new requirement that will support innovation at the direct 
service level through regular review of approaches to victim assistance 
services.
    SAA Reporting Requirements. Section 94.106 proposes the State 
administering agency's reporting requirements under OVC's Victim 
Assistance Program. OVC will continue to require States to submit sub-
grant award reports and

[[Page 52882]]

performance reports, as well as other reports that are required under 
Federal grant rules. (Other reports, for example, would include the 
requirements of the Federal Funding Accounting and Transparency Act, 
which requires reporting on sub-recipient expenditures where such sub-
recipient receives more than $25,000 in grant funds. This reporting is 
independent of OVC's sub-grant award reports.) As Federal grant rules 
and technology are constantly in flux, the proposed rule does not 
specify time or manner in which these reports are to be submitted--it 
is anticipated that OVC will communicate the technical details of each 
year's reporting requirements to grantees via annual program 
solicitations and supplemental guidance.
    SAA Monitoring Plans. Section 94.107 sets out the State 
administering agency's obligation to monitor its sub-awards. In 
addition to the current monitoring plans adopted by a State 
administering agency (which includes regular desk monitoring of all 
sub-awards and on-site monitoring of all sub-recipients at least every 
two years), the proposed rule will permit, upon OVC review and 
approval, alternative monitoring procedures from State administering 
agencies. An example of an alternative procedure that has been 
implemented at the Federal level is a risk assessment model to 
determine the level of monitoring necessary for various sub-recipients. 
OVC recognizes that certain sub-recipients may have a long established 
history of appropriately administering a sub-award and may therefore 
require less intensive scrutiny than a relatively new sub-recipient or 
an established sub-recipient providing new services.
    Programmatic oversight. Section 94.108 proposes the State 
administrative agency's responsibilities with regard to programmatic 
oversight of sub-awards. This section proposes to consolidate various 
rules and considerations that are currently found throughout the 
existing guideline. Among the topics addressed are the following:
     Leasing vehicles. The SAA may authorize sub-recipients to 
lease vehicles, but only upon a showing that each such vehicle is 
essential for the delivery of victim services.
     Faith-based and neighborhood organizations. Faith-based 
and neighborhood organizations are valued partners for government. They 
support and assist victims in countless ways. In keeping with our 
values and our laws, the Federal Government has issued specific 
guidance for programs in which faith-based and neighborhood 
organizations may receive Federal aid to ensure that those programs are 
implemented in accordance with the Establishment Clause and the Free 
Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States 
Constitution. The proposed rule provides a reference to the Department 
of Justice regulation that implements this guidance and that applies to 
entities funded through this program.
     Crime victim compensation agencies. A State may use victim 
assistance funding for services provided by its State victim 
compensation staff where such services are direct services and outside 
of that staff's normal duties.
     SAA use of VOCA funds to provide direct services, and 
limits on the amount of funds that SAAs may use for these purposes.
     Funding victim service programs located in adjacent 
States.
    Program income. Section 94.109 proposes the rules that State 
administering agencies must use when considering whether sub-recipients 
may generate program income. It is OVC's longstanding view that victim 
services provided with VOCA funds should be free of charge for victims 
where possible, though OVC recognizes that in some situations a service 
provider may be justified in charging for services or otherwise 
generating program income.
State Administering Agency Use of VOCA Funds for Administration and 
Training
    The existing Guidelines are inaccurate with regard to the 
allocation of VOCA grant funds for SAA administration and training 
purposes, as VOCA was amended after the issuance of the 1997 guidance. 
VOCA now prohibits grantees from using more than five percent of their 
annual OVC Victim Assistance Program funds for administrative and 
training purposes. This means that SAAs must allocate this five percent 
between both administration and training purposes; SAAs are not allowed 
to use five percent for administration and an additional five percent 
for training. Sections 94.110 through 94.113 detail allowable uses of 
and necessary recordkeeping for, administration and training funds. 
These sections also address non-supplantation requirements as 
applicable to administrative and training funds, as well as indirect 
cost rates.
Sub-Recipient Program Requirements
    Purpose. Section 94.114 proposes the purpose of VOCA sub-awards.
    Sub-recipient requirements. Section 94.115 proposes the 
requirements to which sub-recipients must adhere. These requirements 
include--
     Using volunteers
     Promotion of community efforts to aid crime victims
     Assistance to victims in applying for compensation
     Compliance with all State requirements
     Providing services at no charge unless permitted by the 
SAA to generate program income
    Sub-recipient project match requirements. Section 94.116 proposes 
the project match requirements applicable to activities undertaken by 
sub-recipients of VOCA formula victim assistance funds. These proposed 
match requirements are the same as those in the existing Guidelines. 
Each sub-recipient must contribute at least twenty percent of the total 
cost of each project, unless an exception applies. Requiring sub-
recipients to provide matching funds serves to ensure that sub-
recipients are invested and engaged in the project strategy. U.S. 
territories and possessions are exempt from match, as resources in 
these communities are often not available for match, and therefore a 
match requirement is counterproductive to the goal of increasing the 
availability of victim services in a community. OVC proposes to 
eliminate the current 5% match requirement for American Indian and 
tribal organizations for the same reason. OVC specifically seeks 
comment on whether this amount of minimum match (20%) for sub-
recipients and no match requirement for possessions, territories, and 
tribal sub-recipients is reasonable and beneficial to the goal of 
developing effective and financially stable victim services. OVC also 
specifically seeks comment on professional services used as match and 
how such services should be valued for reporting purposes.
Sub-Recipient Allowable and Unallowable Costs
    Allowable costs. Section 94.117 proposes allowable costs for which 
sub-recipient entities may obligate and expend VOCA formula victim 
assistance funds when providing direct services. Most of these 
allowable costs (and the parameters under which the direct services may 
be provided) are essentially the same as those in the existing 
Guidelines. The following activities, however, have been added or 
significantly modified in the proposed rule:
     Legal assistance for victims. The proposed rule leaves 
unchanged the provision in the current Guidelines allowing sub-
recipients to use VOCA funds for emergency legal assistance to ensure a 
victim's immediate physical and psychological health and safety--
including, but not limited to, assistance

[[Page 52883]]

filing for restraining orders, protective orders, and obtaining 
emergency custody orders and visitation rights. The proposed rule would 
add a provision under the sub-recipient allowable and unallowable costs 
provisions, also allowing VOCA funds to be used outside of the context 
of an emergency, for reasonable legal assistance services where the 
need for such arises as a direct result of a person's victimization. 
The proposed rule contemplates two contexts where this may occur--legal 
assistance to assert a victim's rights or protect a victim's safety, 
privacy, or other interests, in a criminal proceeding directly related 
to the person's victimization; and civil legal assistance where the 
need for such assistance arises as a direct result of a person's 
victimization.
    The proposed rule offers several examples of circumstances under 
which legal services may be appropriate as victim assistance and 
supported with VOCA funding. It also clarifies that criminal defense, 
tort suits, and divorce proceedings generally are not allowable costs. 
It is important to note that the proposed rule merely permits the use 
of VOCA funding for legal services--it does not mandate that such 
services be provided. OVC recognizes that the available resources in 
each State and territory differ, and, therefore, each jurisdiction 
retains broad discretion to set limits on the type and scope of legal 
services that it allows its sub-recipients to provide with VOCA 
funding. OVC seeks comments addressing any aspect of permitting or not 
permitting the use of VOCA funds for legal services for victims, and 
the scope of such services.
     Services to incarcerated individuals. The existing 
Guidelines do not allow OVC Victim Assistance Program funds to be used 
for rehabilitative services or support services to incarcerated 
individuals (see Guidelines, section IV.E.3.b). In 2003, however, the 
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) established an independent 
commission to examine the issue of prison rape in prisons, jails, and 
juvenile detention facilities nationwide, and to recommend actions for 
reducing rates of prison rape. The National Prison Rape Elimination 
Commission's report was released in 2009. One of the recommendations 
was that the prohibition on providing VOCA-funded victim services to 
incarcerated victims be removed, so that incarcerated victims of sexual 
assault in detention/correctional facilities might have additional 
resources available to address victimization-related needs.
    With this in mind, OVC is proposing a provision specifically 
allowing for VOCA-funded victim service providers to serve incarcerated 
individuals, provided that the incarcerated individual is a victim, the 
service addresses issues directly arising from the victimization, and 
the need for such services does not directly arise from the crime for 
which that individual was incarcerated. For example, under the proposed 
rule a State could choose to fund a service provider to provide mental 
health services to an individual incarcerated for illegal distribution 
of drugs who is a victim of sexual assault while so incarcerated. By 
contrast, VOCA funding could not be used to support medical or mental 
health services relating to a pre-incarceration assault of that 
individual by a co-conspirator for not dividing up in an equitable 
manner the proceeds from sales of illegal drugs.
    It is important to note that a person who is targeted and 
victimized while incarcerated because of the crime for which he is 
incarcerated (e.g., a person imprisoned for child abuse who is 
subsequently sexually assaulted by other inmates) would not be excluded 
from receiving VOCA-funded assistance.
    In addition, VOCA victim assistance does not cover non-emergency 
medical costs--therefore, it is anticipated that the majority of any 
costs incurred for services to incarcerated victims would be related to 
forensic exams for sexual assault victims and mental health services to 
address the consequences of a victimization.
    Finally, the rule does not mandate that States make funding 
available for services to incarcerated victims, but rather, merely 
permits them to do so. OVC anticipates that State administering 
agencies will make their own determinations regarding the appropriate 
delegation of responsibility (and fiscal burden) between victim service 
agencies/organizations and detention/correctional facilities with 
regard to caring for this victim population. OVC welcomes comments on 
any aspect of this proposed rule provision.
     Transitional housing. OVC recognizes that transitional 
housing is a necessary victim expense for certain types of victims--for 
example, victims of human trafficking, victims with a disability abused 
by caretakers, and victims of domestic violence and their dependents. 
The existing guideline limits VOCA funding for transitional housing 
(see Guidelines sections IV.E.1.a and IV.E.3.i). The proposed rule 
would allow States the flexibility to permit sub-recipients to provide 
transitional housing to victims, and would permit the State to set 
limits on time and types of victims that might be eligible for such 
housing. Under the proposed rule, States may use VOCA funds for housing 
and shelter purposes to the extent that such housing is related to the 
individual's victimization. For example, shelters for victims of 
domestic violence or human trafficking would be allowable uses of VOCA 
funds because the victims have been taken away from or forced out of 
their housing by the nature of their victimization. States would be 
allowed to use VOCA funds to support transitional housing expenses, 
including travel; rental assistance; first month deposit; utilities; 
support services, such as childcare; and counseling. To the extent 
State administering agencies choose to permit VOCA funds to be used for 
transitional housing purposes, OVC anticipates that these agencies 
would focus on those victims with the most need, such as victims of 
human trafficking, minor victims, victims with disabilities, and 
victims of domestic violence.
     Relocation expenses. The rule proposes to allow States to 
use VOCA funding to pay relocation expenses for victims to preserve 
life, safety and well-being of victims, including, but not limited to, 
domestic violence victims, children, victims of sexual assault, victims 
of stalking, and victims of trafficking. Relocation expenses for crime 
victims must be reasonable, and may include, but are not limited to, 
moving expenses, security deposits on housing, rental and mortgage 
assistance, and utility startup.
     Traditional/Alternative Healing. The proposed rule would 
allow sub-recipients to provide traditional/alternative healing 
methods, and participation in Native American traditional healing 
ceremonies, if allowed by the State administering agency.
    Costs to Support Direct Services. Section 94.118 proposes certain 
activities that support direct services for crime victims and that are 
expenses for which sub-recipients may obligate and expend VOCA funds. 
Generally, under VOCA (42 U.S.C. 10603(b)(2)), OVC formula victim 
assistance funding may only be used by sub-recipients for services to 
victims of crime. The existing Guidelines hold to this general rule 
somewhat strictly, in that they limit the use of funds available for 
coordination and oversight at the sub-recipient level. Over the last 
decade, however, it has become apparent that coordination and oversight 
activities are desirable and may in many cases improve the provision of 
direct victim services. The proposed rule reflects this recognition, 
and gives State

[[Page 52884]]

administering agencies the latitude to allow sub-recipients to use VOCA 
funds for coordination activities, including supervisory coordinator 
positions, supervising staff where necessary and permitted by the State 
administering agency, and the support of costs to facilitate multi-
system/interagency/multi-disciplinary responses to crime victims. In 
contrast to the existing guideline, this section also permits sub-
recipients to contract for professional services not available within 
the sub-recipient organization, as well as for automated systems and 
technology, where these contracts, systems, and technology support 
delivery of direct services to victims. The proposed rule also allows 
for the use of direct service funding in certain circumstances to train 
direct service providers, including Court Appointed Special Advocate 
(CASA) volunteers and clinical social workers. The proposed rule 
clarifies that use of direct service funds for such trainings are 
permissible when the funded entity provides direct services 
predominantly through the use of volunteers (as opposed to paid staff). 
The use of direct service funds to support training and coordination of 
volunteer services in such circumstances is appropriate, as it 
typically allows funded organizations to cost-effectively leverage the 
available funds and volunteer efforts to provide more direct services 
for victims. The rule provides examples of permissible uses within each 
such category so that State administering agencies will be able to more 
easily make allowability determinations by analogy. Finally, the 
proposed rule allows sub-recipient direct costs to include emergency 
costs of non-prescription and prescription medicine, prophylactic 
treatment to prevent HIV/AIDS infection, durable medical devices and 
equipment, and other health care items, if those items cannot be funded 
through an alternative source within 48 hours of the crime.
    Allowable Sub-recipient Administrative Costs. Section 94.119 
proposes allowable sub-recipient administrative costs. These costs 
should be substantively the same as those in the existing Guidelines.
    Unallowable costs. Section 94.120 proposes non-allowable sub-
recipients costs. The majority of these are the same as those in the 
existing Guidelines, with the following exceptions:
     Perpetrator rehabilitation and counseling. The rule 
prohibiting use of VOCA funds for perpetrator rehabilitation and 
counseling has been modified to reflect that certain incarcerated 
individuals who have perpetrated criminal acts may also have pre-
existing victim service needs unrelated to their crime, or may become 
victims while incarcerated. (This is a corresponding change reflecting 
the proposed rule in section 94.117 that would permit VOCA funding to 
be used for victim services for incarcerated individuals where the need 
for services does not directly arise from the individual's criminal 
acts.) As indicated above, OVC specifically seeks comment on this 
aspect of the proposed rule.
     Victim attendance at conferences. The structure of the 
rule should better address the concern that States are prohibited from 
funding victim attendance at crime victim service related conferences. 
The proposed rule would only prohibit sub-recipient organizations from 
obligating and expending funds for this purpose--a State administering 
agency that chooses to hold a training conference at which a victim is 
invited to speak would not be prohibited from using VOCA funds to pay 
for the travel costs of that individual, provided that such travel is 
allowable under the State rules and the expense is counted against the 
State's training and administrative set-aside.

III. Regulatory Certifications

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 
605(b)), the Office for Victims of Crime has reviewed this regulation 
and, by approving it, certifies that it will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The OVC 
Victim Assistance Program distributes funding to States and eligible 
territories pursuant to the VOCA formula, a statutory provision, which 
is not affected by this regulation. The VOCA formula sets out the 
allocation of grant funds among States and territories, and designates 
the States and territories that will receive grant funds--the 
regulation alters neither the allocation of Federal funding, nor the 
designation of which entities will receive annual funding pursuant to 
that allocation. Moreover, VOCA affords substantial latitude to the 
States and territories in determining where to allocate the formula 
funding within each jurisdiction. This rule, to the extent that it 
creates certain set asides and permissible areas of emphasis for State 
victim assistance programs, only applies to federally provided funding. 
As a rule governing a Federal grant program to States and major U.S. 
territories, the only economic impact on small entities is that of 
potential financial assistance, as the rule would not apply to any 
entity that was not a recipient of VOCA funding under this program. 
This regulation, therefore, will not have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563--Regulatory Review

    This regulation has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with 
Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review'' section 1(b), 
Principles of Regulation, and in accordance with Executive Order 13563 
``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'' section 1(b), General 
Principles of Regulation.
    The Office of Justice Programs has determined that this rule is a 
``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, section 
3(f), Regulatory Planning and Review, and accordingly this rule has 
been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.
    Executive Order 13563 directs agencies to propose or adopt a 
regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify 
its costs; tailor the regulation to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining the regulatory objectives; and, in choosing 
among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that 
maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 recognizes that some 
benefits and costs are difficult to quantify and provides that, where 
appropriate and permitted by law, agencies may consider and discuss 
qualitative values that are difficult or impossible to quantify, 
including equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts.
    The proposed rule would clarify and update the existing Guidelines, 
but would not alter the existing program structure at all. Updating the 
existing Guidelines to clearly and accurately reflect the statutory 
parameters will facilitate State compliance with VOCA requirements, and 
thus avoid potentially costly non-compliance findings. The proposed 
rule would make only a few substantive changes to the existing 
Guidelines, and these would be of a permissive, not mandatory, nature. 
Some changes, like allowing more flexibility to coordinate and leverage 
community resources, and adopt alternative monitoring strategies, would 
impose no costs but will potentially allow States to use existing 
funding more efficiently. Other proposed changes that allow States to 
allocate funding to services not presently allowable, could change the 
allocation of VOCA funding amongst victim services provided by sub-
recipient organizations, and amongst

[[Page 52885]]

victim service organizations. Such reallocations of funding, however, 
are not mandated and each State and territory would make the ultimate 
decision with regard to whether to change its current funding 
allocations, if it chooses to do so at all. This is not a change from 
the present discretion that States have to allocate funding according 
to State priorities. Any potential reallocations would be relatively 
minor (even when taken in aggregate across States) in comparison to the 
overall mix of allowable victim services, and thus they are unlikely to 
create new costs or significant fund transfers. In any event, the 
benefits of additional services for underserved and un-served victims 
are significant.
    The proposed requirement to periodically compete subawards may 
impose minimal costs associated with administering a competition at 
least every five years, but these costs are outweighed by the gains in 
both program effectiveness and cost efficiency that competition would 
create. The proposed provision allowing alternative risk-based 
monitoring procedures imposes no new costs on States that choose to 
retain their existing procedures, but will allow States that wish to 
implement more cost effective alternatives to do so.
    The proposed elimination of match for American Indian and tribal 
organizations will permit victim service organizations in these 
communities, many of which do not have the resources to provide 
matching funds, the ability to more easily seek VOCA funding for victim 
services. This will benefit victims in these communities, many of whom 
are underserved. This change is unlikely to impose new costs on States 
or territories, as there is no requirement that the administering 
agencies fund American Indian or tribal organizations at a particular 
level, and the amount of funding allocated to these organizations is a 
very small percentage of overall VOCA funding.
    All of the proposed changes to the provisions governing allowable 
and unallowable costs are in the nature of granting States additional 
flexibility to fund certain activities. None of the changes would 
require States to expend additional funding in any area, or change 
funding allocations. Moreover, the changes, while important, are 
relatively minor when compared to the entire scope of costs allowable 
with VOCA funding. Consequently, to the extent that States choose to 
fund the newly allowable victim services (e.g., increased time allowed 
in transitional housing), the reallocation of funding will not result 
in a significant reallocation of overall funding, given the small 
number of newly allowable services when compared to the overall mix of 
allowable victim services. In addition, it is not certain which States 
will permit what additional services if given the flexibility to do so, 
and to what extent, as these decisions typically are often made through 
State legislative or administrative processes and address 
considerations unique to each State. The important benefit of such 
potential minor reallocations of resources, whether within 
organizations that presently receive VOCA funding and will provide 
augmented services, or (in the less common case) to new organization, 
would be that previously underserved or un-served victims would receive 
needed assistance.

Executive Order 13132--Federalism

    This rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, 
on the relationship between the national government and the States, or 
on distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels 
of government, as the relationship between the States and territories 
and the national government, for purposes of this program, is set out 
primarily in the statutory law, not this regulation. Therefore, in 
accordance with Executive Order No. 13132, it is determined that this 
rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the 
preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform

    This rule meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) 
& (b)(2) of Executive Order No. 12988. Pursuant to section 3(b)(1)(I) 
of the Executive Order, nothing in this or any previous rule (or in any 
administrative policy, directive, ruling, notice, guideline, guidance, 
or writing) directly relating to the Program that is the subject of 
this rule is intended to create any legal or procedural rights 
enforceable against the United States, except as the same may be 
contained within subpart B of part 94 of title 28 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of 
$100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments. The VOCA Victim Assistance Program 
is a formula grant program that provides funds to States to provide 
financial support to eligible crime victim assistance programs. 
Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule 
will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or 
more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse 
effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to 
compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule does not propose any new, or changes to 
existing, ``collection[s] of information'' as defined by the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations at 5 CFR Part 1320. The existing collections (VOCA Victim 
Assistance Grant Program State Performance Report, 1121-0115, and OVC 
Subgrant Award Report, 1121-0142) have both been cleared by the Office 
of Management and Budget.

List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 94

    Administrative practice and procedure, victim assistance, formula 
grant program, Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984.
    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, part 94 of 
chapter I of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to 
be amended as follows:

PART 94--CRIME VICTIM SERVICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 94 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 10603, 10603c, 10604(a), 10605.
0
2. Add subpart B to read as follows:
Subpart B--VOCA Victim Assistance Program

General Provisions

Sec.
94.101 Purpose; future guidance; construction and severability.
94.102 Definitions.

State Administering Agency Program Requirements

94.103 Purpose of State-level VOCA funding; State administering 
agency eligibility.
94.104 Eligible crime victim assistance programs.

[[Page 52886]]

94.105 Allocation of subawards.
94.106 Reporting requirements.
94.107 Monitoring requirements.
94.108 Programmatic oversight of subawards.
94.109 Sub-recipient program income.

State Administering Agency Use of VOCA Funds for Administration and 
Training

94.110 Administration and training.
94.111 Special considerations for administrative costs.
94.112 Allowable administrative costs.
94.113 Allowable training costs.

Sub-Recipient Program Requirements

94.114 Purpose of VOCA sub-awards.
94.115 Sub-recipient program requirements.
94.116 Project match requirements.

Sub-Recipient Allowable/Unallowable Costs

94.117 Direct service costs.
94.118 Other costs for activities supporting direct services.
94.119 Sub-recipient administrative costs.
94.120 Expressly non-allowable sub-recipient costs.

General Provisions


Sec.  94.101  Purpose; future guidance; construction and severability

    (a) Purpose. The purpose of this subpart is to implement and 
interpret the provisions of VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 10603, which, as of the 
date of this regulation, authorizes the Director to make annual grants 
to the chief executive of each State and eligible territory for the 
financial support of eligible crime victim assistance programs. VOCA 
sets out the statutory requirements governing this financial support to 
such programs, and should be read in conjunction with this regulation.
    (b) Future guidance. Pursuant to VOCA at 42 U.S.C. 10604(a), the 
Director may establish such rules, regulations, Guidelines, and 
procedures as are necessary to carry out any function of the Director 
under VOCA. Pursuant to this authority, the Director may from time to 
time prescribe clarifying guidance for VOCA grant recipients and sub-
recipients on the application of these regulations.
    (c) Construction and severability. Any provision of this subpart 
held to be invalid or unenforceable by its terms, or as applied to any 
person or circumstance, shall be construed so as to give it the maximum 
effect permitted by law, unless such holding shall be one of utter 
invalidity or unenforceability, in which event such provision shall be 
deemed severable from this part and shall not affect the remainder 
thereof or the application of such provision to other persons not 
similarly situated or to other, dissimilar circumstances.


Sec.  94.102  Definitions

    Crime victim or victim of crime means a person who has suffered 
physical, sexual, financial, or emotional harm as a result of the 
commission of a crime.
    Director means the Director of OVC.
    Direct services are efforts that--
    (1) Respond to the emotional and physical needs of crime victims;
    (2) Assist victims of crime to stabilize their lives after 
victimization;
    (3) Assist victims to understand and participate in the criminal 
justice system; or
    (4) Restore a measure of security and safety for the victim (for 
example, by replacing or repairing broken windows, doors, and locks).
    OVC means the Office for Victims of Crime, within the United States 
Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs.
    Spousal abuse includes intimate partner violence and dating 
violence.
    State administering agency or SAA is the governmental unit 
designated by the chief executive of a State or territory to administer 
VOCA funds.
    Victim of child abuse means a victim of crime, where such crime 
involved an act or omission considered child abuse under the law of the 
jurisdiction of the relevant State administering agency. In addition, 
for purposes of this program, victims of child abuse may include, but 
are not limited to, victims of crime involving child physical, sexual, 
or emotional abuse; victims of child pornography related offenses; 
victims of child neglect; victims of commercial sexual exploitation of 
children; and children who are exposed to or witness violence.
    VOCA means the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, Public Law 98-473 
(Oct. 12, 1984), as amended.

State Administering Agency Program Requirements


Sec.  94.103  Purpose of State-level VOCA funding; State administering 
agency eligibility.

    (a) Direct services. VOCA funds shall be available to the State 
administering agency only for subawards to eligible crime victim 
assistance programs that provide direct services to victims of crime, 
unless such funds are otherwise available to the State administering 
agency for training or administrative costs, or for its own direct 
service programs, as allowable under this subpart.
    (b) State administering agency eligibility. State administering 
agencies must meet the criteria set forth in VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 
10603(a)(2). Generally, these criteria require that the chief executive 
of the State or territory (or a designee, under VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 
10603(d)(5)) certify (as set out in VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 10603(a)(2)) 
that--
    (1) Priority will be given to programs providing assistance to 
victims of sexual assault, spousal abuse, or child abuse;
    (2) Funds will be made available to programs serving previously 
underserved victims; and
    (3) VOCA funding will not supplant State and local funds otherwise 
available for crime victim assistance.

Such certifications shall be submitted annually in such form and manner 
as may be specified by the Director from time to time. In making their 
certifications, State administering agencies shall follow the rules 
regarding priority areas, underserved victims, and non-supplantation 
set out below.
    (c) Pass-through administration. State administering agencies have 
broad latitude in structuring their administration of VOCA funding. 
VOCA funding may be administered by the State administering agency 
itself, or by other means, including using pass-through entities (such 
as coalitions of victim service providers) to make determinations 
regarding award distribution and to administer funding. State 
administering agencies that choose to use a pass-through mechanism 
shall ensure that such a mechanism does not bypass the statutory 
limitation on use of administrative and training funds, that reporting 
of activities at the direct service level is equivalent to what would 
be provided if the State administering agency were directly overseeing 
sub-awards, and that an effective system of monitoring sub-awards is 
used.


Sec.  94.104  Eligible crime victim assistance programs.

    (a) In general. Eligible crime victim assistance programs include 
those that provide services to victims of crime, and meet the 
requirements of VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 10603(b)(1)(A) through (F), as 
provided in this section.
    (b) Types of entities. State administering agencies may fund 
subawards only to programs operated by public agencies or nonprofit 
organizations (including tribal public agencies and tribal nonprofit 
organizations), or by combinations thereof.
    (c) Organizational capacity of the program. State administering 
agencies shall require that each crime victim assistance program 
demonstrate to the satisfaction of the State administering agency that 
it has either a record of effective services to victims of crime and 
support from non-VOCA funds, or

[[Page 52887]]

substantial financial support from non-VOCA funds.
    (d) Record of effective services to victims of crime and support 
from non-VOCA funds. For purposes of this section, in determining 
whether a program has demonstrated a record of effective services to 
victims of crime and has support from non-VOCA funds, State 
administering agencies may take into account considerations such as 
(but not limited to)--
    (1) The support and approval of a program's services by the 
community;
    (2) The program's history of providing direct services in a cost-
effective manner; and
    (3) Financial support from sources other than VOCA.
    (e) Substantial financial support from non-VOCA funds. For purposes 
of this section, a program has substantial financial support from non-
VOCA funds when at least twenty-five percent of the program's funding 
in the year of, or the year preceding, the award consists of non-VOCA 
funds. Substantial financial support may include support from other 
Federal funding programs. A program may count the funding used to 
demonstrate non-VOCA substantial financial support toward its project 
match requirement, provided that this funding is non-Federal (or meets 
the OJP Financial Guide exceptions for using Federal funding for 
match).
    (f) Project match requirement. State administering agencies shall 
require that crime victim assistance programs agree to, and meet, the 
project match requirements set out in Sec.  94.116, unless a program 
falls under one of that section's exceptions to match, or that program 
is given written approval from OVC to deviate from the match 
requirements (upon a request from or with the concurrence of the State 
administering agency to OVC).
    (g) Mandated use of volunteers; waiver. State administering 
agencies shall require that crime victim assistance programs utilize 
volunteers (to the extent determined by the State administering agency) 
in order to be eligible for VOCA victim assistance funds. The chief 
executive of the State (who may act through the State administering 
agency) may waive this requirement, provided that the program submits 
written documentation of its efforts to recruit and maintain 
volunteers, or otherwise demonstrate why circumstances prohibit the use 
of volunteers, to the satisfaction of the chief executive.
    (h) Discrimination prohibited. The VOCA non-discrimination 
provisions specified at 42 U.S.C. 10604(e) shall be implemented in 
accordance with 28 CFR part 42, and guidance from the Office for Civil 
Rights within the Office of Justice Programs.


Sec.  94.105  Allocation of subawards.

    (a) Directed allocation of forty percent overall. State 
administering agencies shall set aside an overall total of forty 
percent of each year's VOCA grant for subawards to eligible crime 
victim assistance programs that serve priority categories of crime 
victims and previously-underserved categories of crime victims, as 
specified below in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, unless the 
Director permits the State administering agency to deviate from all or 
part of these allocations under one of the exceptions in paragraph (d) 
of this section.
    (b) Priority Categories of Crime Victims (thirty percent total). 
State administering agencies shall allocate a minimum of ten percent of 
each year's VOCA grant to each of the three categories of victims 
specified in the certification requirement in VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 
10603(a)(2)(A), which, as of the date of this regulation, includes 
victims of
    (1) Sexual assault,
    (2) Spousal abuse, and
    (3) Child abuse.
    (c) Previously underserved category (ten percent total). State 
administering agencies shall allocate a minimum of ten percent of each 
Federal fiscal year's VOCA grant to underserved victims of violent 
crime, as specified in VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 10603(a)(2)(B). To meet the 
underserved requirement, State administering agencies shall identify 
crime victims by the type of crime they have experienced as well as the 
characteristics of the victim. These underserved victims may include, 
but are not limited to, victims of Driving Under the Influence (DUI)/
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) crashes; survivors of homicide victims; 
victims of physical assault; adults molested as children; victims of 
elder abuse, robbery, hate and bias crimes, kidnapping; child victims 
and adult survivors of child pornography; child victims of sex 
trafficking; victims of violent crime in high crime areas; and LGBTQ 
victims.
    (d) Exceptions to required allocations. Each State administering 
agency shall allocate each Federal fiscal year's VOCA grant as 
specified above, unless the Director approves a different allocation, 
pursuant to a written request from the agency that demonstrates (to the 
satisfaction of the Director) that--
    (1) A priority category is currently receiving significant amounts 
of financial assistance from the State or other sources;
    (2) A smaller amount of financial assistance, or no assistance, is 
needed for a particular priority category or previously underserved 
victims from the VOCA victim assistance grant program; or
    (3) Crime rates for a priority category do not justify the required 
allocation.
    (e) Mandate to compete funding to sub-recipients. Each State 
administering agency shall award funds through a competitive process, 
including long-term and/or ongoing projects. All subawards for victim 
assistance projects funded by VOCA should be re-competed at least every 
five years.


Sec.  94.106  Reporting requirements.

    (a) Subgrant award reports. State administering agencies shall 
submit (in such form and manner as may be specified by the Director 
from time to time) a Subgrant Award Report (SAR) to OVC for each 
project that receives VOCA funds, within ninety days of the subaward 
date. If SAR information changes before the end of the project period, 
the State administering agency shall revise and resubmit the SAR within 
thirty days of the change.
    (b) Performance report. State administering agencies shall submit 
(in such form and manner as may be specified by the Director from time 
to time) a Performance Report to OVC by the date specified by OVC. The 
Performance Report shall cover the previous Federal fiscal year's 
active grants.
    (c) Other reports. OVC may from time to time request that State 
administering agencies submit supplemental information or reports, as 
it may determine to be advisable.


Sec.  94.107  Monitoring requirements.

    (a) Monitoring plan. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this 
section, State administering agencies shall develop a monitoring plan 
in accordance with the requirements of this section.
    (b) Monitoring frequency. State administering agencies shall 
conduct regular desk monitoring of all subawards. In addition, agencies 
shall conduct on-site monitoring of all sub-recipients a minimum of 
once every two years during the grant cycle.
    (c) Recordkeeping. State administering agencies shall maintain a 
copy of site visit results and other documents related to compliance.
    (d) Alternative monitoring procedure. State administering agencies 
may submit to OVC for approval an alternative monitoring plan that 
differs

[[Page 52888]]

from that described in paragraph (a) of this section. Such monitoring 
plan may use risk assessment to determine the level of scrutiny and 
priority for conducting monitoring of sub-recipients. Any alternative 
monitoring plan must be approved by OVC prior to implementation.


Sec.  94.108  Programmatic oversight of subawards.

    State administering agencies shall ensure that VOCA sub-recipients 
obligate and expend funds in accordance with Sec. Sec.  94.117 through 
94.120, which set out allowable and unallowable costs under VOCA 
subawards. In addition, State administering agencies shall refer to the 
following rules when overseeing subawards that involve the following 
entities or activities:
    (a) Leasing vehicles. No State administering agency may authorize a 
sub-recipient to lease vehicles using VOCA funds unless the sub-
recipient substantiates an essential need for the expenditure to 
deliver services to crime victims.
    (b) Faith-based and neighborhood organizations. State administering 
agencies shall ensure that sub-recipients comply with all applicable 
Federal rules governing use of Federal funding by faith-based and 
neighborhood organizations, including 28 CFR part 38.
    (c) Crime victim compensation programs. State administering 
agencies may provide VOCA victim assistance funding to compensation 
programs only for the purpose of providing direct services to crime 
victims that extend beyond the essential duties of the staff 
administering the compensation program. These services may include 
crisis intervention; counseling; and providing information, referrals, 
and follow-up for crime victims.
    (d) Direct-service programs run by State administering agencies. A 
State administering agency may use no more than ten percent of its 
annual VOCA grant to operate its own program that provides direct 
services to victims of crime, unless the Director approves a different 
allocation in writing. The State administering agency's direct-services 
program shall adhere to the allowable/unallowable cost rules in 
Sec. Sec.  94.117 through 94.120. VOCA funds used under this paragraph 
remain subject to the rules for State administering agency use of VOCA 
funds for administration and training in VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 
10603(b)(3), and in Sec. Sec.  94.110 through 94.113.
    (e) Victim service organizations located in an adjacent State. 
State administering agencies may award VOCA victim assistance funds to 
otherwise eligible crime victim assistance programs that are physically 
located in an adjacent State. In making such awards, the State 
administering agency shall--
    (1) Ensure that any such award is an efficient and cost-effective 
way to provide services to victims who reside in the awarding State;
    (2) Ensure that the amount of the award is proportionate to the 
number of victims in the awarding State that will be served by the 
adjacent State program; and
    (3) Enter into an interstate agreement with the adjacent State to 
address provision of services, monitoring, auditing Federal funds, 
overseeing compliance, and reporting.


Sec.  94.109  Sub-recipient program income.

    (a) Prior authorization required. Services provided by VOCA sub-
recipients shall be provided at no charge to victims served, unless the 
State administering agency grants prior authorization to the sub-
recipient to generate program income.
    (b) Consideration for authorization of program income. The State 
administering agency should weigh the following considerations prior to 
permitting a sub-recipient to charge fees or otherwise generate program 
income:
    (1) The sub-recipient's justification for charging for services or 
otherwise generating program income in light of the particular 
project's objectives, and the overall purpose of victim assistance 
programs; and
    (2) The sub-recipient's ability to track program income generated 
in accordance with Federal financial accounting requirements.
    (c) Uses of program income. State administering agencies shall 
ensure that each sub-recipients' VOCA-funded program income be 
restricted to the same uses as the VOCA grant, and that the resulting 
income be obligated and expended during the grant period in which the 
income is generated.

State Administering Agency Use of VOCA Funds for Administration and 
Training


Sec.  94.110  Administration and training.

    (a) Amount. A State administering agency may not use more than the 
amount prescribed by VOCA for training and administration. At the time 
of this regulation, the amount was five percent of a State's annual 
VOCA award.
    (b) Notification. State administering agencies shall notify OVC of 
their decision to use VOCA funding for administrative or training costs 
at the time of application for VOCA grant funds, or within thirty days 
of a decision to use such funds. Such notification shall indicate what 
portion of the five percent allowance will be allocated for training 
and what portion for administration.
    (c) Availability. State administering agencies shall ensure that 
each training and administering activity funded by the VOCA award 
occurs within the project period.
    (d) Documentation. State administering agencies shall maintain 
sufficient records to substantiate the expenditure of administrative 
and training funds.


Sec.  94.111  Special considerations for administrative costs.

    (a) Proportionate allocation of costs to the VOCA grant. Any 
administrative costs (e.g., equipment purchases by the State 
administrative agency) charged to the VOCA award may be charged only in 
proportion to the percentage of use that may be allocated to the 
State's crime victim assistance program. This rule applies only to 
State administering agencies, not to sub-recipients.
    (b) Baseline for administrative costs. If a State administering 
agency uses VOCA funds for administrative costs, it shall--
    (1) Establish and document a baseline level of non-VOCA funding 
required to administer the State victim assistance program prior to 
expending VOCA funds for administrative costs; and
    (2) Notify OVC if there is a decrease in the State's financial 
commitment to the cost of administering the State's crime victim 
assistance program.
    (c) Non-supplantation requirement. In keeping with VOCA, at 42 
U.S.C. 10603(a)(2)(C) (prohibiting supplantation of State funds with 
the Federal grant), a State will be understood to have supplanted if it 
decreases its previous financial commitment toward the administration 
of its victim assistance program, and Federal funds are used to 
maintain the baseline level of administrative funding. States will not 
be in violation of the prohibition on supplanting where--
    (1) A serious loss of State revenue results in across-the-board 
budget restrictions, or
    (2) A State decreases the number of State-supported staff positions 
used to meet the State's maintenance of effort in administering the 
VOCA grant program.
    (d) Indirect cost rates. The State administrative agency may charge 
a federally-approved indirect cost rate to this grant, provided it does 
not exceed the five percent statutory cap on administrative (and 
training) costs for the State administering agency.

[[Page 52889]]

Sec.  94.112  Allowable administrative costs.

    State administering agencies may use VOCA funds to support 
administrative costs as provided in VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 10603(b)(3). 
Only those costs directly associated with administering the State 
administering agency's program and training its staff, enhancing 
overall program operations, and ensuring compliance with Federal 
requirements may be reimbursed with administrative grant funds. These 
costs generally include the following:
    (a) Salaries and benefits. Salaries and benefits for State 
administering agency staff and consultants to administer and manage the 
financial and programmatic aspects of the VOCA victim assistance grant. 
As noted above, administrative funds may only be used to support the 
portion of staff time that is devoted to the State-level VOCA 
assistance program.
    (b) Training. Travel, registration fees, and other expenses 
associated with State administering agency staff attendance at OVC-
sponsored and other technical assistance meetings and conferences that 
address issues and concerns to State administration of victim 
assistance programs.
    (c) Monitoring compliance. State administering agencies use of 
administrative funds to monitor compliance of VOCA sub-recipients with 
Federal and State requirements, provide technical assistance, and/or 
evaluation and assessment of program activities, including travel, 
mileage, and other associated expenses.
    (d) Reporting. State activities necessary to meet Federal and State 
reporting requirements concerning the VOCA victim assistance grant 
program.
    (e) Program evaluation. Surveys or studies that inform the grantee 
of the impact or outcome of services received by crime victims.
    (f) Program audit costs. State activities necessary to meet Federal 
audit requirements concerning the VOCA victim assistance grant program.
    (g) Technology. Including the study, design, and implementation of 
grant management systems, Web page construction and maintenance, 
Geographic Information Systems, and other automated systems that 
further the administration of VOCA victim assistance funds; purchase 
and maintenance of equipment for the State administering agency, 
including computers, software, fax machines, copying machines, and TTY/
TDDs; and services required to support technology.
    (h) Memberships. Memberships in crime victims organizations and the 
purchase of victim-related materials such as curricula, literature, and 
protocols; memberships in organizations that support the management and 
administration of the VOCA victim assistance grant program are also 
allowable.
    (i) Strategic planning. Development of strategic plans, both 
service and financial, including conducting surveys and needs 
assessments.
    (j) Coordination and collaboration efforts. Coordination and 
collaboration efforts made on behalf of crime victims with appropriate 
groups such as systems-based providers, criminal justice, victim 
advocacy, human services, financial assistance (including crime victim 
compensation), OJP bureaus and offices, and other appropriate Federal, 
State, and local agencies and organizations.
    (k) Publications. Purchasing, printing, and developing training 
materials, victim services directories, brochures, and other relevant 
publications.


Sec.  94.113  Allowable training costs.

    State administering agencies may use VOCA funds to support training 
costs as provided in VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 10603(b)(3). Allowable training 
costs generally include the following:
    (a) Statewide/regional trainings. Providing statewide or regional 
training of personnel providing direct assistance. Statewide or 
regional training supported with training funds shall target a diverse 
audience of victim service providers and allied professionals, 
including VOCA funded and non-VOCA funded personnel.
    (b) Training academies. Supporting State victim assistance training 
academies.

Sub-Recipient Program Requirements


Sec.  94.114  Purpose of VOCA sub-awards.

    VOCA funds shall be available to sub-recipients only to provide 
direct services to victims of crime (unless such funds are otherwise 
available to the sub-recipient for administrative or other costs as 
allowable under this subpart).


Sec.  94.115  Sub-recipient program requirements.

    Sub-recipients shall adhere to the following rules in undertaking 
activities using VOCA funds:
    (a) Use of volunteers. Sub-recipients shall use volunteers where 
practicable to do so unless the chief executive of that State (who may 
act through the State administering agency) waives this requirement 
pursuant to Sec.  94.104(g).
    (b) Promotion of community efforts to aid crime victims. Sub-
recipients shall, pursuant to VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 10603(b)(1)(D), 
promote within the community served coordinated public and private 
efforts to aid crime victims. Such coordination may include, but is not 
limited to, serving on Federal, State, local, or American Indian tribal 
task forces, work groups, committees, commissions, or coalitions, to 
develop written agreements and protocols, overseeing and recommending 
improvements to community responses to crime victims.
    (c) Assistance to victims in applying for compensation. Sub-
recipients shall, pursuant to VOCA, at 42 U.S.C. 10603(b)(1)(E), assist 
victims in applying for crime victim compensation benefits. Such 
assistance may include identifying and notifying crime victims of the 
availability of compensation, assisting them with application forms and 
procedures, obtaining necessary documentation, monitoring claim status, 
and intervening on behalf of the victim with the crime victims' 
compensation program.
    (d) Compliance with State criteria. Sub-recipients shall abide by 
any additional eligibility or service criteria established by the State 
administering agency.
    (e) Cost of services. Sub-recipients shall provide services funded 
by VOCA to crime victims at no charge, unless the sub-recipient 
requests (and the State administering agency provides prior approval 
of) a waiver, pursuant to Sec.  94.109, allowing the sub-recipient to 
generate program income. If a sub-recipient receives a waiver, any 
program income shall be restricted to the same uses as the VOCA funds 
and any program income shall be expended during the grant period in 
which the income is generated.


Sec.  94.116  Project match requirements.

    (a) Project match amount. Sub-recipients shall contribute (i.e., 
match) not less than twenty percent (cash or in-kind) of the total cost 
of each VOCA-funded project, except as provided in paragraph (b) of 
this section.
    (b) Exceptions to project match. The following are exceptions to 
the project match rules set out in this section:
    (1) American Indian tribes and tribal organizations. Sub-recipients 
that are federally-recognized American Indian or Alaska Native tribes, 
or projects that operate on reservations of federally-recognized 
tribes, are not required to contribute to the total cost of a VOCA-
funded project.
    (2) Territories and possessions of the United States. Sub-
recipients that are territories or possessions of the United States 
(except for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico), or projects that operate 
in such a territory or possession (except for the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico) are

[[Page 52890]]

not required to contribute to the total cost of a VOCA-funded project.
    (3) OVC-approved exceptions. Sub-recipients other than those listed 
in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, may deviate from the 
match rules set out in this section only upon OVC approval of a written 
request submitted to OVC by (or with the concurrence of) the State 
administering agency.
    (c) Sources of project match. Matching funds shall be derived from 
non-Federal sources, except as may be provided in the OJP Financial 
Guide, and may include the following:
    (1) Cash. The value of direct non-Federal funding (or Federal 
funds, where permitted by the OJP Financial Guide) contributed to the 
project.
    (2) Volunteered professional or personal services. The value placed 
on volunteer services shall be consistent with the rate of compensation 
paid for similar work in the sub-recipient's organization. If the 
required skills are not found in the sub-recipient's organization, the 
rate of compensation shall be consistent with the labor market. If 
services are provided at a discounted rate, the difference between the 
rate charged the sub-recipient and the rate ordinarily charged shall be 
included in the valuation. Fringe benefits may be included in the 
valuation.
    (3) Materials/Equipment. The value placed on loaned or donated 
equipment shall not exceed its fair market value.
    (4) Space. The value of donated space shall not exceed the fair 
rental value of comparable space as established by an independent 
appraisal of comparable space and facilities in a privately-owned 
building in the same locality.
    (5) Non-VOCA funded victim assistance activities. Match may include 
victim assistance activities (including but not limited to performing 
direct victim service activities, coordinating or supervising those 
activities, training victim assistance providers, or advocating for 
victims) that are funded by non-VOCA and non-Federal sources, 
including, but not limited to, other non-Federal Governmental funding 
sources.
    (d) Use of match funds. All funds designated as match are 
restricted to the same uses, and timing deadlines for obligation and 
expenditure, as the project's VOCA funding.
    (e) Recordkeeping for match. Each sub-recipient shall maintain 
records that clearly show the source, amount, and period of time for 
which the match was allocated. The basis for determining the value of 
personal services, materials, equipment, and space shall be documented. 
Any reduction or discount provided to the sub-recipient shall be the 
difference of what the sub-recipient paid from what is the provider's 
nominal or fair market value for the good or service. Volunteer 
services shall be substantiated by the same methods used by the sub-
recipient for its paid employees (generally, this should include 
timesheets substantiating time worked on the project).

Sub-Recipient Allowable/Unallowable Costs


Sec.  94.117  Direct service costs.

    (a) The following are allowable direct service costs for which sub-
recipients may use VOCA funds:
    (1) Immediate physical and psychological health and safety. 
Services that respond to the immediate emotional, psychological and 
physical needs (excluding medical care except as allowed under 
paragraph (a)(1((ix) of this section) of crime victims are allowable. 
These services include, but are not limited to:
    (i) Crisis intervention services;
    (ii) Accompaniment to hospitals for medical examinations;
    (iii) Hotline counseling;
    (iv) Safety planning;
    (v) Emergency food, shelter, clothing, and transportation;
    (vi) Short-term (up to 45 days) in-home care and supervision 
services for children and adults who remain in their own homes when the 
offender/caregiver is removed;
    (vii) Short-term (up to 45 days) nursing home, adult foster care, 
or group home placement for adults for whom no other safe, short-term 
residence is available;
    (viii) Window, door, and lock replacement or repair;
    (ix) Emergency costs of non-prescription and prescription medicine, 
prophylactic treatment to prevent HIV/AIDS infection, durable medical 
equipment (such as wheel chairs, crutches, hearing aids, eyeglasses), 
and other health care items are allowed when the State's compensation 
program, the victim's (or in the case of a minor child, the victim's 
parent's or guardian's) health insurance plan, Medicaid, or other 
health care funding source cannot provide for these expenses within 48 
hours of the crime; and
    (x) Emergency legal assistance such as filing restraining or 
protective orders, and obtaining emergency custody orders and 
visitation rights.
    (2) Personal advocacy and emotional support. Personal advocacy and 
emotional support services include-
    (i) Working with a victim to assess the impact of the crime;
    (ii) Identify needs;
    (iii) Case management;
    (iv) Manage practical problems created by the victimization;
    (v) Identify resources;
    (vi) Provide information, referrals, advocacy, and follow-up 
contact for continued services, as needed; and
    (vii) Traditional, cultural and/or alternative therapy/healing 
(e.g., art therapy, yoga).
    (3) Mental health counseling and care. Mental health counseling and 
care includes out-patient therapy/counseling, including referral to 
substance abuse treatment, provided by a person who meets professional 
standards to provide these services in the jurisdiction in which the 
care is administered.
    (4) Peer support. Peer support includes activities that provide 
opportunities for victims to meet other victims, share experiences, and 
provide self-help, information, and emotional support.
    (5) Facilitation of participation in criminal justice proceedings. 
Such facilitation generally involves the provision of services and 
payment of costs that help victims participate in the criminal justice 
system, and includes-
    (i) Advocacy on behalf of crime victims;
    (ii) Accompaniment to criminal justice offices and court;
    (iii) Transportation, meals, and lodging to allow victims who are 
not witnesses to participate in the criminal justice system;
    (iv) Interpreters for victims who are hearing-impaired, or with 
limited English proficiency, when they are not witnesses;
    (v) Child care and respite care to enable a victim who is a 
caregiver to attend criminal justice activities related to the case;
    (vi) Notification to victims regarding trial dates, case 
disposition, incarceration, and parole hearings;
    (vii) Assistance with victim impact statements; and
    (viii) Assistance in recovering property that was retained as 
evidence and projects devoted to restitution advocacy on behalf of 
crime victims.
    (6) Legal assistance. Costs for legal assistance services are 
allowable where reasonable and where the need for such services arises 
as a direct result of the victimization.
    (i) Legal services (including, but not limited to, those provided 
by pro bono legal clinics) that help victims assert their rights as 
victims or protect their safety, privacy, or other interests, in a 
criminal proceeding directly related to the victimization, are 
allowable.

[[Page 52891]]

    (ii) Civil legal services for victims where the need for such 
services arises as a direct result of the victimization, are allowable.
    (iii) The following are examples (which are merely illustrative, 
and not meant to be a comprehensive listing) of some circumstances 
where civil legal services may be appropriate: Protective and 
restraining orders against a stalker or abuser; campus administrative 
protection or stay away order proceedings; family, custody, contract, 
housing, and dependency matters for victims of intimate partner 
violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and elder abuse; immigration 
assistance for victims of human trafficking and domestic abuse victims; 
intervention with creditors, law enforcement (e.g., to obtain police 
reports), and other entities on behalf of victims of identity theft and 
financial fraud; intervention with administrative agencies, schools/
colleges, tribal entities, and other circumstances where legal advice 
or intervention would assist in addressing the consequences of a 
person's victimization.
    (iv) OVC encourages State administering agencies to set reasonable 
limits on the amount and duration of funding, and the types of legal 
services that are provided by their sub-recipients.
    (v) In general, legal services for divorce proceedings, alteration 
of child support payments, criminal defense, and tort lawsuits are not 
an appropriate use of VOCA funding.
    (7) Forensic medical evidence collection examinations. Forensic 
medical evidence collection examinations for adult and child victims 
are allowable to the extent that other funding sources such as State 
appropriations are insufficient. These costs may be covered if the 
examination meets standards established by the State, and appropriate 
crisis counseling and/or other types of victim services are offered to 
the victim in conjunction with the examination.
    (8) Forensic interviews. VOCA funding may be used for forensic 
interviews of children and adults only when--
    (i) Results of the interview will be used not only for law 
enforcement and prosecution purposes, but also for identification of 
needs such as social services, personal advocacy, case management, 
substance abuse treatment, and mental health services;
    (ii) Interviews are conducted in the context of a multidisciplinary 
investigation and diagnostic team, or in a specialized setting such as 
a child advocacy center;
    (iii) The interviewer is trained to conduct forensic interviews 
appropriate to the developmental age and abilities of children, or the 
developmental, cognitive, and physical or communication disabilities 
presented by adults; and
    (iv) VOCA victim assistance funds are not used to supplant other 
State and local public funding available for forensic interviews, 
including criminal justice funding.
    (9) Transportation. Transportation is allowable for victims to 
receive services and to participate in criminal justice proceedings.
    (10) Public awareness. Public awareness and education presentations 
that are made in schools, community centers, and other public forums, 
and that are designed to inform crime victims of specific rights and 
services and provide or refer them to needed services and assistance 
are allowable. Costs related to these activities include the 
development of presentation materials, brochures, newspaper notices, 
and public service announcements.
    (11) Services to incarcerated individuals. Services that respond to 
the needs of an incarcerated crime victim, whether arising from a 
victimization occurring before or during incarceration, are allowable 
where the need for such services does not directly arise from the crime 
for which that individual was incarcerated. Such services may include 
psychological or medical forensic services. The need for victim 
assistance services does not directly arise from the crime for which a 
person is incarcerated merely because that person, while incarcerated, 
is victimized, even where the person is targeted and victimized for 
having committed that crime.
    (12) Transitional housing. The cost of transitional housing for 
victims is allowable, subject to any restrictions on amount, length of 
time, and eligible crimes, set by the State administering agency. 
Generally, transitional housing is appropriate for victims of human 
trafficking, victims with disabilities abused by caretakers, victims of 
domestic violence and their dependents, and other victims who have a 
particular need for transitional housing, and who cannot (or should 
not) return to their previous housing situation due to the 
circumstances of their victimization.
    (13) Relocation. The cost of relocation of victims is allowable, 
subject to any restrictions on amount, length of time, and eligible 
crimes, set by the State administering agency. Generally, relocation is 
appropriate where needed for the safety and well being of a victim, 
particularly for domestic violence victims, victims of sexual assault, 
and victims of human trafficking. Such costs must be reasonable and may 
include, but are not limited to, moving expenses, security deposits on 
housing, rental and mortgage assistance, and utility startup.
    (b) [Reserved].


Sec.  94.118  Other costs for activities supporting direct services.

    The following are other allowable victim-service-related costs for 
which sub-recipients may use VOCA funds:
    (a) Coordination of activities. Activities that facilitate the 
provision of direct services are allowable, including but not limited 
to, statewide coordination for victim notification systems, crisis 
response teams, multidisciplinary teams, and other such programs. VOCA 
funds may be used to support the salaries and benefits of such 
coordinators.
    (b) Supervision of direct service providers. VOCA funds may be used 
to support the costs of supervisory staff costs in a VOCA-funded 
project, when the State administering agency determines that such 
supervision of direct service providers is necessary and essential to 
providing direct services to crime victims.
    (c) Multisystem, interagency, multidisciplinary response to crime 
victims. VOCA funds may be used for activities that support a 
coordinated and comprehensive response to crime victims by direct 
service providers. Examples include direct service staff serving on 
child and adult abuse multidisciplinary investigation and treatment 
teams; coordinating with Federal agencies to provide services to 
victims of Federal crimes; and/or participation on statewide or other 
task forces, work groups, and committees to develop protocols, 
interagency, and other working agreements.
    (d) Contracts for professional services. Sub-recipients may use 
VOCA funds to contract for specialized professional services that are 
not available within the organization. Examples of such services 
include, but are not limited to, psychological or psychiatric 
consultation; legal consultation for victim advocates who assist 
victims in using appropriate legal avenues to alleviate danger and in 
exercising their rights as victims; and interpreters for victims who 
are hearing impaired or with limited English proficiency. Sub-
recipients generally should not use VOCA funds for contracted services 
that charge for administrative overhead or other indirect costs on an 
hourly or daily rate.
    (e) Automated systems and technology. VOCA funds may be used

[[Page 52892]]

for automated systems and technology that support delivery of direct 
services to victims. Examples are automated information and referral 
systems, email systems that allow communications among victim service 
providers, automated case-tracking and management systems, and victim 
notification systems. Costs may include personnel, hardware, and other 
expenses, as determined by the State administering agency.
    (f) Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and other similar 
volunteer trainings. VOCA direct service funds may be used to provide 
instruction to CASA volunteers on how to be an advocate. VOCA funds may 
also be used to instruct volunteers on how to provide direct services 
when such services will be provided predominantly by volunteers.


Sec.  94.119  Sub-recipient administrative costs.

    The following are allowable administrative costs for which sub-
recipients may use VOCA funds:
    (a) Personnel costs. VOCA funds may be used to support personnel 
costs that are directly related to providing direct services and other 
allowable victim-related services, such as staff and coordinator 
salaries and fringe benefits, including a prorated share of liability 
insurance.
    (b) Skills training for staff. VOCA funds designated for skills 
training shall be used exclusively for developing the skills of direct 
service providers, including paid staff and volunteers, so that they 
are better able to offer quality services to crime victims. These VOCA 
funds may be used for training both VOCA-funded and non-VOCA-funded 
service providers who work within a VOCA recipient organization. VOCA 
funds may be used to pay for manuals, books, videoconferencing, and 
other materials and training methods.
    (c) Training-related travel. VOCA funds may support costs such as 
travel, meals, lodging, and registration fees for VOCA-funded direct 
service staff in a VOCA sub-recipient organization. These expenses may 
be funded for training in-State, regionally, and nationally.
    (d) Office costs. Office costs that are necessary and essential to 
providing direct services and other allowable victim services are 
allowable. These costs include but are not limited to the prorated 
costs of rent; utilities; local travel expenses for service providers; 
and required minor building adaptations needed to meet the Department 
of Justice standards implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    (e) Equipment and furniture. VOCA funds may be used to purchase 
furniture and equipment that facilitate the delivery of direct services 
to crime victims. Examples of allowable costs are telephones; Braille 
and TTY/TDD equipment; computers and printers; beepers; video cameras 
and recorders for documenting and reviewing interviews with children; 
two-way mirrors; colposcopes; and equipment and furniture for shelters, 
work spaces, victim waiting rooms, and children's play areas. VOCA 
funds may support only the prorated share of an item that is not used 
exclusively for victim-related activities.
    (f) Operating costs. Operating costs include but are not limited 
to-
    (1) Supplies;
    (2) Equipment use fees, when supported by adequate documentation;
    (3) Prorated costs of property insurance;
    (4) Printing, photocopying, and postage;
    (5) Courier services;
    (6) Brochures that describe available services;
    (7) Books and other victim-related materials;
    (8) Computer backup files/tapes and storage; and
    (9) Security systems.
    (g) VOCA administrative time. Administrative time spent performing 
the following activities is an allowable cost-
    (1) Completing VOCA-required time and attendance sheets and 
programmatic documentation, reports, and statistics;
    (2) Collecting and maintaining crime victims records;
    (3) Conducting victim satisfaction surveys and needs assessments to 
improve victim services delivery in the VOCA-funded project; and
    (4) Funding the prorated share of audit costs.
    (h) Leasing vehicles. Leasing vehicles, provided that the State 
administering agency grants prior approval, is an allowable cost. The 
sub-recipient shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the State 
administering agency that the vehicle is essential to delivering 
services to crime victims.
    (i) Maintenance, repair, or replacement of essential items. VOCA 
funds may be used for maintenance, and repair or replacement of items 
that contribute to maintaining a healthy or safe environment for crime 
victims, such as a furnace in a shelter. Routine maintenance, repair 
costs, and automobile insurance are allowable for leased vehicles. 
State administering agencies shall review each sub-recipient request to 
ensure that other sources of funding are not available, and that the 
cost of maintenance, repair, or replacement is reasonable.
    (j) Project evaluation. Sub-recipients may use VOCA funds to 
support evaluations of specific victim service projects.


Sec.  94.120  Expressly non-allowable sub-recipient costs.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of this subpart, VOCA funds 
shall not be used to fund or support the following:
    (a) Lobbying. Lobbying or administrative advocacy activities on 
legislation or administrative change to regulation or administrative 
policy (cf. 18 U.S.C. 1913), whether conducted directly or indirectly, 
are unallowable.
    (b) Perpetrator rehabilitation and counseling. Funds may not be 
used for perpetrator rehabilitation and counseling except where 
directly arising from the victimization of an incarcerated individual 
whose need for victim assistance services does not directly arise from 
the crime for which that individual was incarcerated, or as provided in 
Sec.  94.117(a)(11).
    (c) Research and studies. Research and studies on crime victim 
issues are an unallowable use of VOCA funds, as these funds should be 
used primarily for direct services. Note: Evaluation of specific victim 
service projects to determine the effectiveness of such a program is an 
allowable use of VOCA funds.
    (d) Criminal justice system improvement. Activities directed at 
prosecuting an offender or improving the criminal justice system's 
effectiveness and efficiency, except that forensic interviews and 
examinations may be funded in some instances, as set forth in Sec.  
94.117(a)(7) and (8).
    (e) Fundraising. Any activities or other costs related to 
fundraising (with the exception of fee-based, or similar, program 
income as permitted by the State administering agency under these 
rules).
    (f) Capital expenses. Capital improvements, liability insurance on 
buildings; body guards; property losses and expenses; real estate 
purchases; mortgage payments; and construction, except as allowable 
under Sec.  94.117(a)(1) or Sec.  94.119.
    (g) Compensation for victims of crime. Reimbursement to crime 
victims for expenses incurred as a result of a crime, except as 
allowable property loss expenses under Sec.  94.117(1).
    (h) Most medical care. Except as allowed under Sec.  
94.117(a)(1)(ix).
    (i) Salaries and expenses of management. Salaries, benefits, fees,

[[Page 52893]]

furniture, equipment, and other expenses of executive directors, board 
members, and other administrators, except as allowable under Sec.  
94.118 or Sec.  94.119.
    (j) Victim attendance at conferences. The attendance of individual 
crime victims at conferences.
    (k) Funding other organizations. The purchase of equipment for 
another organization or individual to perform a victim-related service.
    (l) Purchasing vehicles. Purchasing of vehicles (as distinct from 
the leasing of vehicles.
    (m) Crime prevention. Crime prevention activities.

    Dated: August 14, 2013.
Karol V. Mason,
Assistant Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 2013-20426 Filed 8-26-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-18-P