Costa Recognizes the Lives of Fresno Shooting Victims
Fresno, CA – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, released the following statement to recognize the lives of Fresno shooting victims, Carl Allen Williams III, Zachary David Randalls, Mark James Gassett, and David Martin Jackson, and to express support for their families.
“I join the community in honoring the lives of Carl Allen Williams III, Zachary David Randalls, Mark James Gassett, and David Martin Jackson. During this very sad time for our city, it’s important that we come together to support the victims’ families and one another. We must ensure that the surviving family members of the homicide victims are provided with the resources they need and deserve.
“My office is working with state and local agencies to provide immediate and ongoing support to the families of the victims and connecting them with the California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB). Funding comes from fines paid by offenders convicted in state or federal court and can be used to help pay for funeral expenses, mental health treatment, and other costs related to this horrific crime, in the short- and long-term.
“I want to give a big thank you to the Fresno Police Department and first responders for working every single day to help keep our city safe and for their sensitivity to and support for all crime victims and survivors.”
In September 2016, the State of California received $10.3 million in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) federal grant funding which was deposited into the state restitution fund along with other monies. Since 1984, the Victims of Crime Act has provided federal grants to provide essential, often life-saving services for crime victims and survivors.
Similar to the state restitution fund, the VOCA Crime Victims Fund is not financed by taxpayer dollars but by fines, forfeitures, and other penalties paid by federal criminal offenders. By statute, the Fund is dedicated solely to supporting victim services and compensation. VOCA’s victim compensation assistance provides victims with financial assistance for medical care, mental health counseling, lost wages, and funeral and burial costs.
Every year, Rep. Jim Costa leads the VOCA appropriations letter requesting that the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies support an increased cap on the money that comes out of the Crime Victims Fund.
CalVCB administers the state’s victim compensation program to local counties. In Fresno County, the Crime Victim Assistance Center provides direct assistance to eligible victims and their families to help ensure they are receiving the necessary compensation.
For more information about CalVCB, please visit www.victims.ca.gov.