More on Nebraska’s crime victims: Where does the money to help them come from?

State money for Nebraska’s Crime Victim’s Reparations program comes from multiple places, including about $20,000 from the state’s general fund, plus court fees and a percentage of the wages of inmates on work release. 

The fees and work release money are deposited into a cash fund with a balance of about $1.4 million as of mid-2022, according to the Crime Commission’s most recent budget request.

The federal government allots money for crime victim compensation programs like this one, in all 50 U.S. states, via a formula: Currently, the formula is 75% of state money spent on victim claims two years prior. 

So, the amount of state money spent on claims affects the federal funding the program is eligible to receive down the road. 

An example of how that can play out: In Nebraska’s fiscal year 2021, federal funding dipped to $46,000, down from $151,000 in 2020.

That award was based on state money spent during federal fiscal year 2018, according to the program. The next year, federal funding rose again, to $159,000.

By Sara Gentzler

Most recently, Sara was an enterprise reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, where she covered the ultra-dramatic 2022 gubernatorial primary race. Before that, as a state government reporter, she broke stories on Nebraska footing the bill (and refusing to admit it) for deploying state troopers to the southern border and its practice of inking millions in no-bid pandemic contracts with an out-of-state company. She graduated from Gretna High School and Creighton University and ultimately returned to Nebraska from Washington state, where she covered state government for The Olympian and three other newspapers. She and her husband, Alex, welcomed identical twin boys in June. They’re excited to introduce them to Omaha’s parks and music scene.



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