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Crime Victims Compensation Is Unequal and Inadequate

Violent crime may be decreasing in America but the cost of death rises for our families.  Violent crime has the highest costs generated from hospital stays, loss of jobs/income and long term physical and mental health counseling.  It’s time we ask for a National Violent Crime Compensation Program that not only helps every person in every state but broadens requirements for disbursement for a long term healing process.  

Currently, all fifty states and three of our territories offer crime victim compensation.   Our states mandate compensation for victims of crimes with expansive requirements that are hit or miss for some families.  In 2018, seven states began denying compensation for criminal records.  Hold on. It wasn’t just current and active gang members and criminals that were denied.  People with felonies from 30 years prior to death were denied. What about the old saying that everyone deserves a second chance?  

In Illinois, criminals receive that second chance costing the state millions in compensation even though these same people tear the streets apart with violence.  Chicago has one of the highest murder rates for a large city, with 2443 people having been shot-not killed-by November 2019.  Each of those people is eligible for compensation even though they’re known gang members.  If we had a national violent crime compensation plan, we could enforce some rules for these states and our people on eligibility.  

People who have prior felonies and were not actively in a criminal lifestyle should receive compensation.  An active criminal lifestyle would mean not having any criminal activity on record such as arrests for the prior five years. People need a second chance to readjust to a new, crime-free lifestyle that brings life to a community.  We cannot continuously punish people that have served their time.  Those that are gang members on the street corners causing grief to their entire community should not receive compensation.  Live by the sword, die by the sword.  

Is there a difference in the destructive forces of violent crime for different victims?  Rape is still a highly contested crime. Women are still harangued on the stands for the outfits they wear while male victims hide in the shadows of their supportless victimization.  Every woman and man that has been raped must receive compensation for all their medical care including physical and psychological counseling they receive for at least two years after the incident averaging about $6300.  The average lifetime costs of rape are $122,000, we can handle two years of support. 

In many violent crimes, our own health insurance will be used by hospitals and doctors for payment.  That’s not fair at all. As soon as someone is deemed a victim of violent crime through police reports a national crime victim compensation insurance must be used by medical staff.  Victims can receive their own medical card that will be billed for every doctor visit, follow-up and counseling appointment for at least two years. Why should we pay for crime our government hasn’t controlled?  

Last but never the least, victims and the families of mass shootings should be completely covered for all medical expenses for a lifetime by Uncle Sam.  The families of school shooting victims to those dying at Wal-Marts and Waffle Houses are clearly unintended victims of crime that both Congress and the President have not found a solution. It’s time our government takes responsibility in an expansive way to cover every person in every state.  Federalism is failing us as crime victims. 

Image by Thomas Breher from Pixabay 

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