The Colorado Legislature approved a bill that created the Victim Assistance and Law Enforcement (VALE) program in 1984. The legislation crafted a funding mechanism that generates funds in each of Colorado's twenty-two judicial districts. Its intent was to provide programs and services for crime victims and to assist law enforcement. The funds for this legislation come from surcharges on fines paid by those convicted of crimes. The Colorado Revised Statue (C.R.S.) 24-4.2 outlines the existence and authority of VALE boards.
By state statute, the fund is administered by the District Attorney's Office and governed by a five-member board, appointed by the Chief Judge of District Court. In Denver, two senior policy level professionals of the Denver District Attorney's Office staff will act as administration for the Denver VALE Board.
The fund provides grant money to assist victim service agencies in the community. Agencies apply for funding via a competitive grant process. Since 1984, the Denver VALE Board has been instrumental in the start-up of over 20 victim assistance programs. Currently, the Board funds 22 agencies for a variety of services including the Victims Services Network.
The Board has a long history of building cooperative victim services in the community. The Board sponsors an annual Public Forum to promote cooperation and gain input from local service providers and victims on perceived needs for victims and services. A summary of major initiatives supported by the Denver VALE Board include: creation of the Denver Center for Crime Victims, funding a victim services minority internship program, establishing an emergency fund for victim assistance not covered by federal and state funded resources, initial establishment a Victim Assistance Unit in the Denver Police Department and establishment of the partnership with OVC to fund the Colorado-Oklahoma Resource Council. The Board has also provided principle support to the development of major city-wide protocols which outline the service delivery process for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child sex abuse and adults-at-risk. In addition, the VSN (a program of Victims Services 2000) has established and implemented interagency protocols for ethical communication, cultural competency, vicarious trauma, the use of technology and cross training.