Realizing the Promise of Crime Victim Compensation

Helping Community Violence Intervention Meet the Needs of Victims

+ John Maki, Heather Warnken


Established by Congress in 1984, Crime Victim Compensation (CVC) is a federal and state program designed to reimburse victims for certain out-of-pocket expenses resulting from their victimization. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the unique challenges faced by victims of community violence when accessing CVC. This increased attention has prompted efforts to reform and enhance the program, including a review of CVC’s guidelines initiated by the Office for Victims of Crime, the federal administrators of CVC. 

In “Realizing the Promise of Crime Victim Compensation,” the Marron Institute aims to provide support for these ongoing initiatives. Drawing from a national examination of CVC’s laws and policies, “Realizing the Promise” offers detailed recommendations that can be used by advocates, community violence-intervention programs, and government leaders to unlock the program’s potential in aiding victims in their recovery, addressing trauma, and promoting resilience within affected communities.

Read the Brief

John Maki, J.D., is a Fellow in the Litmus Program of the NYU Marron Institute, where he assists public-safety-related agencies and community-based organizations to improve outcomes for people who have been impacted by violent crime.

Heather Warnken, J.D., was named executive director of the Center for Criminal Justice Reform in January 2022. Prior to coming to the University of Baltimore School of Law, her work at both the US Dept. of Justice and UC Berkeley’s Warren Institute was focused on addressing the harm caused by the criminal legal system and promoting healing in marginalized communities.

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