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Tennessee Senior Program Manager Named to Board Overseeing Crime Victim Funds

Thursday, October 28, 2021 | 06:20am
Renee Howell

NASHVILLE – A Tennessee overseer for the federal Victims of Crime Fund has been named to a national board representing all state efforts to serve crime victims. Renee Howell, a manager with the Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP), will serve as one of only 13 members of the Board of Directors for the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA). VOCA stands for Victims of Crime Act, a 1984 law that established the Crime Victims’ Fund, which oversees millions of dollars of payments made for criminal fines, penalties, forfeited bail bonds and special assessments collected by the federal government. VOCA is not funded by tax dollars.

“Renee’s commitment to this work is crucial to our mission and to serving victims of crime in Tennessee,” OCJP Director Jennifer Brinkman said. “She understands the needs of victims and their families but also has an incredible depth of knowledge about VOCA program requirements, grant management and innovation.”

Howell is a senior program manager with OCJP, overseeing VOCA awards with a team of program managers.

“I am honored to be chosen by the state VOCA administrators to serve NAVAA in this capacity,” Howell said. “I look forward to working with the other board members to enhance the resources that are available for crime victims across the nation.”

The mission of NAVAA is to ensure accessible quality services for crime victims nationwide and to strengthen communication, training and technical assistance to effectively respond to the issues and challenges of supporting those services. NAVAA represents all 56 VOCA victim assistance jurisdictions, including all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. The NAVAA Board of Directors is composed of 13 state VOCA assistance administrators, eight of whom serve as regional representatives responsible for maintaining communications with the seven jurisdictions in their assigned region.

A division of the Department of Finance & Administration, OCJP functions as a strategic planning agency that secures, distributes, and manages federal and state funds for Tennessee, including Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds and STOP Violence Against Women Program (STOP) funds.