Ohio's Victim's Compensation Program

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Attorney General Jim Petro says he will propose sweeping changes to the state's Crime Victims Compensation Program this week as part of National Crime Victims Rights Week.

The program helps victims of violent crimes recover economic losses like lost income, medical bills, funeral expenses and mental-health counseling up to a maximum of $50,000.

Saying children shouldn't be punished for the crimes of a parent, Petro wants legislators to change a provision of the law that denies awards if the victim or applicant engaged in felonious conduct within the past ten years.

He noted that the Cincinnati-area children of Sharon Peterson were denied victims benefits in 1999 because their mother smoked crack with her killer.

Crime-victim awards and administrative costs are financed mainly through fees on traffic tickets. More than $200 million has been awarded since 1977.