Tester Secures $5.4 Million for Montana Crime Victim Services

Senator continues aggressive push to fund police, Montana law enforcement

U.S. Senator Jon Tester secured three grants for a total of $5,484,075 for the state of Montana to support crime victims and bolster the criminal justice system.

“When Montanans are victims of crime, we need to do everything we can to make these folks whole and help them get back on their feet,” said Tester. “I’m proud to have secured these resources that will support local Montana organizations provide survivors with the support they need to recover. And we also can’t take our eye off the ball when it comes to holding bad actors accountable, which is why I’m going to keep working every day to make sure that our brave law enforcement officers have the tools to protect our communities and bring criminals to justice.”

Tester secured $5,132,778 for services for Montana victims that will be awarded to local community-based organizations that provide direct services to victims. He also secured $284,000 to enhance State Victim Compensation payments to eligible victims. The funding is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and comes from fines and restitution paid by criminals convicted of federal crimes.

Additionally, Tester secured $67,297 in Sex Offender and Registration Notification Act (SPORNA) funds for the Montana Department of Corrections. This funding will be used to continue the Department’s effort to deploy 4 palm-capable livescans at four criminal justice entities responsible for sex offender registration. The livescans will enable registering agencies to capture not only fingerprints, but also palm prints.

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester has continually worked to provide stable funding for these VOCA. In 2021, he helped pass the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act, allowing funds from settlement agreements to be deposited into the Crime Victims Fund and ensuring critical funding for survivors and service providers remains available. He also recently led the fight to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) through the 2022 federal government funding legislation, and he has led the charge in the Senate to fight the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons crisis.