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5/28/2024 Bill signed to expand crime victims' benefits
Legislation sponsored by Rep. Justine A. Caldwell and Sen. Matthew L. LaMountain  on behalf of Rhode Island General Treasurer James A. Diossa to help protect crime victims was ceremonially signed into law today by Gov. Dan McKee.

This bill 
2024-H 7747B2024-S 2777Awill allow innocent crime victims to use up to $1,000 of funds awarded through the Crime Victim Compensation Program (CVCP) to modify their home to ensure their future safety. This provides an alternative to relocation, which the program currently allows.

Administered by the Office of the General Treasurer, the CVCP provides up to $25,000 to Rhode Islanders to help them financially recover after they having been a victim of a violent crime.

Ultimately, this fund is meant to help victims with the practical matters involved in putting their lives back together. Restoring their safety and their security should be its highest priority," said Representative Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich). "I’m proud to help enact this legislation, because no victim should have to consider living in constant fear because of the costs involved in making their home more secure.”

“As a society, we have an obligation to provide for the safety and welfare of the victims of crime,” said Senator LaMountain (D-Dist. 30, Warwick). “This legislation, which allows for home modification to ensure the security of those victims, will go a long way toward meeting that obligation, and giving those victims a sense of peace, security and safety.”

The bill allows up to $1,000 of a victim’s total award under the CVCP to be used to make reasonable modifications to the victim’s residenceto help ensure their safety. This includes items such as a modest home security system, or the cost to rekey locks.

The CVCP assists victims with expenses related to violent crime, including medical, dental and counseling expenses; relocation expenses; funeral and related expenses; and lost earnings. These funds help Rhode Islanders and their families who have experienced trauma because of violent crimes afford support systems and care.

“No amount of money can stop the suffering. But it is my hope that this bill will make it a little easier on Rhode Islanders that have undergone a traumatic ordeal. There are any number of reasons why someone might not want to leave their home, whether it is to remain close by a support network, a child’s school, or simply due to inaccessibility of alternative housing options,” said General Treasurer Diossa. “This bill represents meaningful change that will help victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse, or other violent crimes feel safe if they make the decision to remain in their home after a criminal ordeal.”

“All Rhode Islanders should feel safe in their own homes. This bill provides the necessary support for crime victims to get back that sense of security," said Governor  McKee. "I'm proud to have worked with General Treasurer Diossa and our partners in the General Assembly to sign this legislation. Rhode Island stands with victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse, and all other violent crimes, and we will work tirelessly to ensure their safety and peace of mind."
If you or a loved one has been a victim of violent crime in Rhode Island and you need assistance, the Crime Victim Compensation Program may be able to help. More information about the program can be found at or by calling (401) 462-7655.

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923