Thursday, November 20, 2003

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Attorney General Abbott Lauds Kendall County For Its Commitment To Crime Victims

BOERNE - Attorney General Greg Abbott today pledged continued support for crime victims, in particular emphasizing the importance of reaching out to those in need in small towns and rural areas of Texas. The Attorney General was joined by Kendall County Attorney Ross Fischer as he reaffirmed his commitment to working with local officials to ensure that victims and families throughout Texas have access to the state's Crime Victims Compensation Fund and other services supported by the Office of the Attorney General.

"There are over 1,000 Texas cities with populations under10,000. In small towns and rural areas, my agency depends on the assistance of dedicated officials like County Attorney Fischer and his staff to ensure that our services reach every eligible Texan," said Attorney General Abbott.

Attorney General Abbott's Crime Victim Services Division oversees the Compensation Fund, which last fiscal year paid out $71 million to Texas crime victims and provided a variety of other services to victims and their families. The Fund pays expenses incurred by victims of violent crime who have nowhere else to turn for assistance. The fund provides financial assistance to eligible victims to cover items such as medical bills; counseling for victims and their family members; physical therapy; loss of wages as a result of the crime; and related child care expenses.

"It is obvious from the number of crime victims needing help that it has never been more important that the money in the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund be used efficiently and effectively," Abbott said. "Thanks to the efforts of officials in small towns and counties throughout Texas, the money is reaching the right people and giving them the tools to put their lives back together."

In the last year, County Attorney Fischer helped the Office of the Attorney General coordinate assistance to16 victims from Kendall County who received payments from the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund.

Funding for the Attorney General's Crime Victims' Compensation Fund and other Crime Victim Services programs comes from fines, court costs, restitution and other fees paid by convicted criminals.

Texans needing assistance through the Attorney General's Crime Victim Services Division should call 1-800-983-9933 or visit the Attorney General's website at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.