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Office of the
Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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April 11, 2024

Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, in partnership with the Alliance for Safety and Justice and Ascend Justice, today announced legislation that would increase accessibility to the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Program.

The Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Program – administered by Raoul’s office – provides reimbursement to eligible victims of violent crime and their families, helping to pay expenses that include hospital and medical charges, funeral and burial costs, relocation expenses and lost wages. Raoul’s legislation, contained in Senate Bill 3713, would expand the number of individuals who would be eligible and reduce barriers for victims of violent crime and their families. Senate Bill 3713 passed the Senate and now heads to the Illinois House for further consideration.   

“Survivors of violent crime often face enormous financial and emotional barriers to recovery, in addition to the physical trauma they have experienced,” Raoul said. “I am committed to working with advocates to support survivors and pushing for increased services and resources for those affected by violent crime.” 

Senate Bill 3713 amends the Crime Victims Compensation Act by making the program more accessible to applicants and advocates who assist individuals in applying for compensation as well as expanding eligibility both for who can apply and what items individuals can be reimbursed for.

“We are encouraged by the steps that the Attorney General’s office has taken over the past few years to make the crime victims compensation program more accessible for survivors in Illinois while we continue to advocate for increased access to the program for underserved crime survivors,” said Aswad Thomas, vice president of the Alliance for Safety and Justice and national director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.

“SB 3713 is an important step in making crime victim compensation more accessible and equitable in Illinois, especially for survivors of community violence and gender-based violence. Many survivors of gender-based violence, such as domestic violence, sexual assault and trafficking, endure financial costs associated with their victimization, including relocating to a new home, medical bills, counseling or therapy expenses, and lost wages from missing work,” said Sara Block, managing director of advocacy and partnerships at Ascend Justice. “Crime victim compensation is a critical support that reduces these financial burdens, so that survivors can focus on healing from the trauma the victimization has caused. Ascend Justice is appreciative of Senator Robert Peters and Representative Maurice West for their sponsorship and leadership to ensure that victims of crime are able to receive the financial compensation they need and deserve. Ascend Justice is also grateful to the Office of the Illinois Attorney General for supporting the bill and its intention, and we look forward to continuing to work together to further strengthen crime victim compensation in Illinois.”

Senate Bill 3713 is sponsored in the Illinois Senate by Sen. Robert Peters.

“It is important that we recognize the individualized and complex challenges faced by victims of criminal acts and advocate for expanded definitions to create a more inclusive and compassionate support system,” said Sen. Peters. “The losses suffered by victims of crime are diverse and can extend beyond the immediate incident. The provisions outlined in Senate Bill 3713 will foster a more compassionate and supportive framework.”

Senate Bill 3713 is part of Raoul’s ongoing efforts to support victims and address violent crime throughout the state. The Attorney General’s Violence Prevention and Crime Victim Services Division helps victims and families on their road to recovery with trauma-informed, statewide programs and resources. For additional information on services for crime victims or to report a violation of victims’ rights, please call the Attorney General’s Crime Victims Assistance Line at 1-800-228-3368 or visit the Attorney General’s website.