The Legislature finds and declares that a primary purpose of government is to provide for the safety of citizens and the inviolability of their property. To the extent that innocent citizens are victims of crime, particularly violent crime, and are without adequate redress for injury to their person or property, this primary purpose of government is defeated. The people of West Virginia are demonstrably peaceful, and, in comparison to the citizens of other states, suffer a lower crime rate. In establishing the West Virginia Crime Reparation Act of 1981, the Legislature stated its findings that the provision of governmental services to prevent crime is not wholly effective and expressed its intent to establish a system of compensation for the victims of crime which would provide a partial remedy for the failure of the state to fully achieve this primary purpose of government.
The Legislature now finds that the system of compensation established by the act as an experimental effort by the Legislature of this state on behalf of its people, after having been reviewed and perfected in its initial stages, should be continued and retained in the legislative branch of government as an expression of a moral obligation of the state to provide partial compensation to the innocent victims of crime for injury suffered to their person or property.