As a result of the 1983 Oregon legislature, (ORS 147.227) the Oregon Department of Justice, Crime Victims' Assistance Section (CVAS), now the Crime Victims' Services Division (CVSD) was given authority to disburse up to one-half of the unitary assessment monies that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Account receives from the Criminal Fine and Assessment Account, to counties and cities where prosecuting attorneys maintain comprehensive victims' assistance programs approved by CVSD. For more information please see Eligibility to Receive CFA/UA Funds.
Through the 2007 Legislative process, CVSD requested and received an increase in the CFA/UA fund of $2,000,000 for VAP's and to be shared with the Crime Victims' Compensation Program (CVCP) as well as a change in the statute lifting the 50% cap given to the County and City Victim Assistance Programs.
Beginning in 2007, the allocation to programs was revamped based on a strategic planning process that began in March of 2004. The process joined together the advisory bodies for state-administered victim services funding with a focus on domestic and sexual violence services (DV/SA) funding. From August 2005 - July 2006, independent consultants studied current research, past and current allocation formulae and values, and other relevant information in order to present a recommendation on a single equitable formula for allocation of all state-administered funds for DV/SA (the "Equity Study"). Between August 2006 and February 2007, the recommendation was reviewed, adjusted and adopted by all four advisory bodies. The approved formula uses counties as a unit of allocation, and provides a base amount and an additional amount for county population ("base-plus"). Key values reflected in the formula are that victims throughout the state need meaningful access to services and current services should be stabilized during the transition to this new allocation formula.
While the Equity Study was undertaken with a focus on DV/SA services, CVSD anticipated that it would result in information and values applicable to the full range of victim services. With the increase in the CFA/UA funds a similar process has been undertaken to apply a single, equitable formula for allocation to the District and City-attorney based Victim Assistance Programs (VAPs). The increase in CFA/UA funding for the VAPs in the 2007 Legislative Session provided an opportunity for adapting the current CFA/UA fund distribution formula. The formula for distribution implemented in 2007 follows the same key values and the theme of using counties as a unit of allocation, provides a base amount and an additional amount for county population and crime rate ("base-plus"). The proposed allocation formula was reviewed and approved by the Oregon District Attorney's Association during the 2007 ODAA Summer Conference.
The CFAA/UA funding cuts felt in the 2009-2011 biennium will continue to be felt in the upcoming biennium. The release of the Governor’s Recommended Budget in February 2011 shows an approximate 24% cut for CFA. The potential new cut to the 2011-2013 CFA/UA funding, along with decreases in County level funding, presents service delivery challenges to meet victims' needs, ensure that victims are aware of their rights and actively participate in the criminal justice process.
As a result of the passage of House Bill 3634 during the February 2010 legislative session, and effective as of May 23, 2010, there is now more specific statutory language related to victims' rights. This new legislation expanded crime victims' rights into the post-conviction arena including appeals, post-conviction proceedings, and federal habeas cases. Legislation also clarified rights available in Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision cases and "guilty except for insanity" adjudications through the Psychiatric Security Review Board (both adult and juvenile). Additionally, the crime victims' compensation eligibility statute was broadened to include compensation for counseling and travel reimbursement related to post-conviction hearings.
A new Post-Conviction Program was established and implemented at DOJ, CVSD to ensure these new rights are honored for victims and their families. Services include direct advocacy to victims and victim representatives in all of the above types of cases and close coordination with other legal divisions within the Department of Justice as well as the County District Attorney Victim Assistance Programs, the Department of Corrections, Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision and the Psychiatric Security Review Board.
On May 26, 2009, the governor signed Senate Bill 212 which revised and updated the statutory requirements relating to the administration of the Criminal Fine and Assessment Account funding for victims' assistance programs and amending ORS147.227. In 2010, the Oregon Administrative rules (OAR 137-078) went through an amendment process to align the rules with the statutory change. These revisions also converted the CFA funds issued by DOJ/Crime Victims' Services Division to a grant application further clarifying fiscal responsibilities. During this process, a small VAP workgroup met and provided input as well as a sub-committee of the VOCA Advisory Committee specifically established to work on issues around the CFA Unitary Assessment funds.