The U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime is making $2.9 million available to Utah this year for victim compensation and assistance programs.

U.S. Attorney David J. Schwendiman announced the award, saying the money comes from fines and penalties assessed against convicted federal criminals. Last year, $362 million was collected nationwide, the second highest amount ever."Under the Victims of Crime Act, those who break the law pay for the services that victims need to heal themselves and their families," Schwendiman said.

He vowed to continue to aggressively collect fines from federal offenders in Utah so that more victims have access to local services, including domestic violence shelters, children's advocacy centers and rape treatment programs.

Schwendiman said about $2.35 million of the total amount going to Utah this year will be in the form of a victim assistance grant. The remaining $551,000 will help fund the state's crime victim compensation program.