The state attorney general reported that in July the Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded $317,000 to victims of crime in 186 new cases. Also, awards were made in 17 previously submitted cases.

The awards are to help with expenses caused by the crime, such as medical expenses and lost wages.  Awards may be spent on mental health counseling.

Most awards are limited to a maximum of $10,000, but in certain cases where a victim has suffered a catastrophic injury the award can be as much as $25,000.

The legislature created the crime victims reparations program in 1987.  It is funded from court costs and fines imposed on convicted offenders.  Last year almost $4 million was awarded to crime victims.

— Sen. Eddie Cheatham