Every day in this country, hundreds of people are victims of violence, and many are seriously injured or killed. Disaster funds are often created to compensate victims or their families for the injuries, property destruction, and/or death caused by traumatic incidents—not only after natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, but also after some horrific, well publicized acts of violence perpetrated by people, such as the Boston Marathon bombing. Unfortunately, for most people injured or killed outside of such well known, specific circumstances, there is no easy or well funded avenue for compensation. There exist, then, two classes of victims, based upon the way they were injured or killed: in notorious events or lesser known incidents. This paper examines the creation of the OneFund after the Boston Marathon bombing as an example of how disaster funds work and offers alternatives that may serve all victims in an equitable manner.

Note on the Author

Sarah McGuire wrote this piece for Dr. Richard Wright’s (Criminal Justice) Honors Introduction to Criminal Justice course.

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